John. My kids. Grandkids. Extended family. Cherished friends. Beautiful skies. Glorious sunrises. Puppies.
And a piece of really good chocolate.
Not the mass-produced kind that comes pre-wrapped in easily identifiable paper. Though I do admit to allowing that to satisfy my chocolate tooth on occasion. OK, on a lot of occasions.
I’m talking about the kind in real chocolate stores. Those that fit your mood on any given day. Those that you hear clearly calling your name. (Yes, chocolate speaks to me.)
Or the kind you make.
A sweet friend invited me to join her and others for a chocolate-creating party at a local confectionary. Having never done this before, and being predisposed to liking all things chocolate, I agreed to come.
Upon arrival, we were all given cute little paper hats and plastic aprons to help us feel the role of chocolatier. We were then taught the basics of creating confections.
Truffles. Filled cups. Molded shapes.
And a Lucy station.
“I Love Lucy” was a staple at home growing up. Slapstick comedy at it’s very best. And even now I catch it on TV when I need a go-straight-to-your-gut belly laugh.
My all-time favorite was when Lucy and Ethel tried to earn money by working in a chocolate factory. Wrapping pieces of chocolate as they moved by on a conveyor belt. As they appeared to improve, they sped up the belt–which led to the hysterics of doing something with those pieces they couldn’t wrap quickly enough. In hats, down shirt fronts, in the mouth. Chocolate chaos.
We had a conveyor belt. Slow. No need to stuff my mouth.
Our time was spent creating masterpieces of confection. None of which I needed to eat. But there was so much delight in putting flavors together that I enjoy. And I knew sharing them with my family–if, by chance, there would be any left–would be amazing.
I looked at the other women around me, and every one of them was grinning. Even as we chatted among ourselves, the smiles never left our faces.
We were doing something delightful.
That’s how God looks at us. With a broad smile and a heart of delight.
That’s counterintuitive to the way many see God. They believe Him to be harsh, judgmental, critical. He can be that–to those who haven’t received the gift of His forgiveness. To those who don’t, the wrongs that we do must be paid for. If not by Jesus, then by each individual. The love in His heart longs for us to allow Him to pay the penalty for our wrongs.
Because He delights in us.
“The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take GREAT DELIGHT in you, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17
When I imagine Jesus sitting with me, I see His face full of love, enjoying being with me. Delighting that I am His.
Possibly sharing a piece of chocolate.
How do you see Jesus looking at you?