Sammy was an over-eager little pre-teen. He was always the first to blurt something out in a group. What he said would rarely be what others would consider "cool," but it was always very Sammy.
His father was a famous blogger. He had been a very popular pastor until his wife had gotten breast cancer. The ensuing fight against the disease took so much out of him that he resigned from pastorship. And when his wife passed, because of his grief, he resigned from just about everything else.
The one thing he found delight in was his son Sammy. He had started blogging about the cute things Sammy had done since he was a baby. His father saw how unique his boy was from early on, and just delighted in him so much. Everything Sammy did was so Sammy. And all of his old parishioners and friends that didn't get to see him anymore loved reading the delight his son's antics brought his sorrowful soul.
Sammy had said multiple times that he was totally cool about whatever his dad wanted to write about him to his dad's friends, but Sammy had no idea he was such a sensation to his father. He just saw how his peers saw him. He came home from school every day beaten down . . . for being himself.
"Hey, Buddy, how was school?" His dad said as he greeted him at the door. He handed Sammy a sandwich and Sammy took a big bite with a sigh.
"It was a work of art, Daddyo," Sammy said with his typical over-dramatic attempt at poetic and culty irony. Sammy put his head back into his phone to craft a clever response to a guy on the basketball team he really wanted to be friends with. He was always maneuvering to gain people's approval like this. He really wanted to be loved by people.
His father gazed down at him, knowing exactly what Sammy was trying, and how it would end. His compassion rained down on his son.
That night he went to tuck Sammy in and Sammy's face was still in the phone, but his father could see the invitation to his potential friend had not been reciprocated, like usual.
"Hey Sammy, look at me a sec." Sammy looked up, straining, as if it his phone had a bungee cord attached to his eyes. "My son, I want you to know how much I delight in you."
"Thanks, Daddyo. Your the bomb, Mr. Boss-man."
A big smile grew onto his father's face. "I love exactly who you are, big guy. I love listening to you talk. You delight me."
Sammy looked up for a second to receive a kiss from his dad and wait the 30 seconds for his dad to pray over him and then went back to typing.
"Put that thing away soon, big guy," his father said concernedly. "This world needs the well-rested Sammy, exactly who you are. There's no one else in this world like you, my son. And you are such a delight to me."
He was drawn back into Sammy's room after Sammy was fast asleep just to gaze on him and be next to him. The phone was still clasped in Sammy's hand, as if holding onto the hope of being loved of by someone on the other end. His father opened his own phone and tapped on the blogging app.
He typed, "It's hard to watch the one you delight in look for their love from the world. I'm sitting by my beloved son's bed, watching him sleep, while everything in him fights for love from this world. I want him to know how much I delight in him. How much I love what he says. How much joy and beauty he adds to my world. This boy ravishes me with one glance. But he cannot see it. And this is what we all do, even while our heavenly father gazes with such delight upon us, we cannot see it because we're looking for unconditional love from conditional vessels. I know in the depths of my heart, I will never cease to find joy and delight in my son. And now I see how God sees us."