Last Sunday afternoon I was reviewing my notes one last time for Sunday night’s sermon and as I sat staring at the computer screen Josiah—he’s about 19 months old—toddled up to my side.
Months ago my older boys and I began the custom of greeting one another with a punch in the arm. I still hug them and I often tell the boys I love them but this is a way we’ve devised to deliver the same message without being too gooey. If you see us punching each other you’ll know it’s nothing serious, we’re just saying “I love you.” So lately, taking a cue from the older guys, Josiah has been running up to me and tagging my arm or leg with his little fist while saying, “boom, boom, boom” in his sweet little guy voice.
But this time I got no surprise love punch. He was just standing there. I stopped what I was doing and looked down to see him looking up at me like he was saying, “Hi, I’m your son Josiah and I want some attention.” It made me feel pretty good to think that he wanted my attention and had decided to come over and hang around until he got it.
This little slice of life makes me realize that there are people in our lives that need our attention. It could be your children or maybe your spouse or a sibling, neighbor or friend. And they may not even realize they need your attention but there are often little clues if you pay attention. It could be a sharp word exchanged or a change in attitude that gets your attention. You might find the person that needs your attention is hanging around and may or may not initiate a conversation. Or they may seek solitude.
You may not always notice the clues but remember that those nearest you need your attention. Don’t wait for the subtle clues before you give the people in your life your time. When the signs that they need your attention become terribly obvious it could be too late to do much good.
After I picked up Josiah to give him a hug and hold him on my lap for a bit I realized that what he really wanted was his nose wiped. He had a cold and his nose had been running all day. He may not have been asking for a hug but I was glad he came to me to get his nose wiped and he got some cuddle time as a bonus—he’ll graduate to real arm punching soon enough.