The Beat of a Different Drummer
I peek in at him late at night lying in bed, fast asleep, my no-longer-little guy sprawled out across his bed, long unruly mess of hair covering his face. . .and I smile. I smile because he is full of personality. He is so different than me in many ways, different than my expectations, different than the little boy I had always imagined. And for that I am grateful. He's his own person, knows what he likes and doesn't like. I look in at him, peaceful and innocent while he sleeps. The fight is gone and his little mind is resting. He's gone full force for the last sixteen hours, he needs a break.
I like it that he pushes the limits, like it that he questions everything, because one day he's going to do something spectacular. Along the way, he's going to make some big mistakes, but he's going to live large and dream large. Underneath the spunk and mouth is a heart not only lined with gold, but filled with it. It is large and feeling, and it wants to do good even when his impulses lead him astray at times.
I think God must look down and confuse him with a little tornado. But I also think God looks down and likes what He has created, likes the little tornado who is growing into a man.
I think He sees Himself in my little boy, funny as that sounds. The part of God who is the Creator, who by the sheer force of His energy and being created life and all that is in the world. The part of God who was willing to step into humanity and persevere on a rugged cross because it would help people. The part of God who walked among men, largely misunderstood, often reviled because He was different and didn't do things the way the rulers of His era thought they should be done.
But He kept going. Because He, too, had a mission. He didn't care what others thought. His vision was larger than a mere thirty-three years on earth.
I think God must see Himself in the part that sometimes misses out on earthly things because he's in tune with something deep inside another person. The part who remains an idealist even when the world around him is less than ideal. The part that isn't afraid to look into eternity and see better things in all of us.
That is my son sleeping there. We fought each other until we couldn't fight anymore. Until I realized that I was the one who needed to change, because I wasn't going to change his nature. Perhaps he has been given to me so that I would change.
That is my son. Sometimes he inspires anger, sometimes frustration. Then he makes me laugh, even smile in resignation. And as I look at him, he makes me cry. He is a wonderful creation. Through all the struggles, I can see the imprints of the Creator.
He is my son. He marches to the beat of a different drummer. Thank God.
-Kirk Martin (during his transformation several years ago)
I read this and see my daughter. I also see myself, changing my perspective. I love the honesty and bravery of Kirk. Now Casey, of whom the poem was written, has begun to realize his own great potential and at age 16 is already holding motivational workshops and selling CDs for kids. He's found his spark and his own unique mission in life, and that is what we all want for our kids. Those of us with kids who don't fit in, who don't make friends easily, or subscribe to the popular societal way of thinking, we are fortunate! Our kids are different! If we don't frustrate their god-given purpose with our own anxiety and need to control, but instead lead as Christ would have us do, we will find a great treasure beneath that rough exterior. I am begining to see it in my daughter--such a powerful soul, who is my daily gift and challenge. She is an inspiration and a great, raw fountain of understanding, perspective, and gratitude to God. She changes me by being in my life. I am a better person because of her. I will always give thanks for my fiery angel.