Monday, October 11, 2010

Better Things

“Mom, I’m hungry,” Isaiah said. We were in the checkout lane at Wal-Mart. He pushed to the toes of his blue sneaks and reached for a cardboard cylinder with an image of a smiling bear. “Can I have teddy bear crackers?”
“No, Zay,” I said. “It’s too close to dinner. We’ll be home soon.”
“But I’m hungry.”
“I know,” I said as I flipped boxes of tissues to the conveyor belt. “We’ll be home in fifteen minutes. Then we’ll have dinner.”
“But I want the crackers.”
I stopped unloading the cart and bent to his level. “I know, Zay. But the crackers will spoil your dinner. You had a snack before we left home and I promise you’ll be fine.”
Isaiah’s lip curled down. His eyes watered.
I hugged him tight and went back to the cart business. Then I heard it. The sob. It wasn’t a muffled sob. Or an I’m-tryin-to-hold-it-together sob. It was an all-out, broken hearted, I’ve-just-lost-it-and-I-can’t-pull-it-back-in sort of thing. Isaiah’s face crumpled and went red and tears ran in torrents down his cheeks.
Poor kid. He was exhausted. Fit throwing wasn’t his usual style. I scooped him up and kissed the top of his head. “Isaiah, I love you but you don’t need the crackers right now. They’re not the best thing for you.”
Isaiah wept into my shoulder while I scrambled to write a check. Then I set him in the cart, next to white billows of Wally-World bags, and boogied to the van.
By the time we hit Highway 84, Zay’s sobs had subsided to sniffs and gulps.
My heart hurt for Isaiah. I wanted to give him the crackers. I wanted to make him happy and fill the void in his little tummy. But I thought of the ham and potatoes bubbling in the crock, the green salad and homemade rolls. There was nothing wrong with the crackers, but I had better things to offer. There were better things in store.
As I drove the rest of the way home, I thought about my relationship with God. How often do I go before the Lord, filled with needs and desires? Asking for good things. Maybe it’s a story I’d like to see published. Or a relationship I’d like to have. And often He gives me these good things. But sometimes God, in his infinite and parental wisdom, says no.
Maybe He’s chosen another blessing. Or maybe He just wants to draw me close. Whatever the reason, I can be sure of one thing.
He wants to bless me with better things.
Lord, thank you for loving me. Thank you for knowing what’s best.


  1. aw! what a sweet face. He looks fully recovered and happy with the "better things" his momma had prepared for him.

  2. So true, God knows best for us, and wants the best for us too!

  3. Very sweet, Shawnelle!! Well told, well written. You indeed are gifted. Keep going, don't stop. With love, sheryl