I heard him as I walked in the door of my allergist's office. He was sitting around the corner by the small tv/dvd player they have for kids. I didn't realize it was him laughing until I sat down and could see him pointing at the screen. "Shrek" had become interactive.
I'd seen the older man in the waiting room during other visits. Tall, with shoulder-length white hair, it was hard not to notice him. And there he was, hunched over, watching "Shrek", talking back to the characters, and laughing.
Oh, that demon judgmental brain of mine! I thought how sad, even pitiful, for a grown man to have the mind of a child. He seemed oblivious to the rest of us in the waiting room, a child engrossed in a story.
As he interacted with the characters, I thought about how many times I've done the exact same thing. (Don't sit there reading and think I'm crazy. Haven't you ever talked back to the ref when your favorite team is televised, or to an anchor person on the morning news broadcast?) The pitiful became comical, and I began to share in his pleasure.
After trying to watch the older man discreetly for a few minutes, I caught a glimpse of glorious. The man was totally in his right mind. What made it glorious was his seeming security in knowing who he was, and not being embarrassed by the pleasure of the moment.
Wow! Now I was embarrassed. And embarrassed by the times I felt embarrassed by the few times I displayed pure enjoyment. Maybe you've been there. Frantically trying to wipe the tears from your cheeks before exiting a movie theater, afraid someone might see. Or worse, some stranger might think you were a little nuts.
Are you a tad like me? I may enjoy good bbq ribs or chicken fried just right, but heaven forbid I eat them in public because I may get a smear on my smile. What is that? Vanity? Inhibitions? Being self-absorbed? All of the above?
What would happen if we all accepted life, and life in the Savior, as a child (Matthew 18:2-4)? What if I didn't worry about bobbing my head or tapping my foot in the library while listening to my favorite music? What works for me is to picture the old man and Shrek. What works for me is to enjoy and thank God for pleasures, great and small, without worrying about what others may think. What about you? What pleasures has God surprised you with lately?