The Face in the Window

by Andy Wood on March 12, 2008

in Esteem, Life Currency, Love, Turning Points

(A Turning Point Story)

Joel024This is an article I first wrote about my son 16 years ago, about what a powerful thing encouragement can be.   It means as much to me today, if not more, as it did in 1993.  Click “share this” and forward it to the encouragers in your life.  Thank them for being your “Face in the Window.”  And let somebody know you’ll be theirs….

It was one of those forgettable days, when nothing seemed to go right.  I was physically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted.  The summer heat was unbearable, the humid West Alabama air unbreatheable.  But I had to bear it, and I had to breathe it on this day. 

Name a pitiful emotion – I’m sure I felt it on that day.  Rejection, anger, discouragement, depression, loneliness, fear, shame – they all showed up with the intention of staying. 

“Nobody needs you,” they said.  “And nobody believes in you.”

It was a day of giving.  Normally that rejuvenates me, but not today.  On this Saturday, I had given time, love, and tenderness, together with a whole lot of physical energy.  I had given my best (I thought).  Apparently, others had disagreed, and I had been humiliated in front of a large family gathering. 

I was spent.  I would say that I came home with my tail tucked between my legs, but honestly I don’t think I was standing that tall.

It was a day of receiving.  I pulled into the garage, got out of the car, and began to drag myself across the sidewalk toward the back door.  I heard a knocking sound, and looking up, I saw it. 

Standing in front of the second-floor window, grinning from ear to ear, was my little hero, my champion, my encourager. 

And he was waving.  No fussing today about where I had been, or how long had taken to get home.  No whining about the many things I’m sure he wished we could have done together on this Saturday.  Just a great big smile and a wave that said, “I’m glad you’re home, Daddy.  I’ve been waiting for you.”

Joel_Ashley Scene two.  It was a day of good-byes.  Not permanent, of course, but just for a time.  We loaded our little treasures in the car, said good-bye, shut the door, and in our typical grownup way, started thinking ahead about what we had to do.  I glanced back into the car, and there again was a Face in the Window.  A different face this time – one that said without a sound, “I don’t want to be away from you.”  Eyes that seemed to say, “When will I see you again?”  Quiet tears that said, “I need you.”  I opened the car door again, brushed the tears away, and whispered, “I love you.”  And later as I went about all those grownup things that are so important, I quietly said again to my Face in the Window, “Thank you.”

It was a day of learning. 

I learned how powerful just a little encouragement can be. 

I learned that in spite of how well I perform (or fail to), there really are people who believe in me. 

I learned again what a nice feeling it is to know that someone is waiting for you. 

I learned that the respect and love of my son is worth far more than the nods of approval I work so hard for out there in the grownup world. 

And I think I learned a little something about Heaven.  If there really are windows there, then surely there is a Face in the Window, watching for me.  Watching for you.  Waiting for us to get home.

Be a Face in someone else’s Window.  Let them know they’re wanted.  Waited for.  Missed.  Cared about.  Loved.  Believed in.  Worth it. 

Who knows?  Maybe in the process you can be the reason somebody decides not to give up. 

And maybe you can be the motivation that keeps them coming back.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Terry Richardson March 12, 2008 at 8:06 am

Wow . . . that IS a nice piece of writing, and, I WILL forward it to several people I care a lot about. It reminds me of a favorite quote which I carry in my wallet:

“And none will hear the postman’s knock
Without a quickening of the heart.

For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?”

W.H. Auden, poet (1907-1973)

May we never take for granted the people closest to us.

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