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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Favoritism (02/28/05)

TITLE: Unabashed Love
By Kathleen Shelton


As I look upon his freckled face, hair the color of a cross between a strawberry and pumpkin, cocoa brown eyes and a contagious impish smile, I cannot help but smile back at my grandson. Although in theory, a grandparent is not supposed to have a favorite, of all the many grandchildren I have, he has become mine.

Cody is not perfect by any means. He has bi-polar and ADHD combined. He can become angry, willful and violent at any moment. Even I have been on the receiving end of his sudden outbursts. However, somehow, though, this grandson has wormed his way into my heart as no other.

As he wraps his arms unashamedly around me and holds onto me as if he will never let go, I laugh and hug him tighter. I see the raw, absolute love shine in his eyes. Regardless of how often I see him, the greeting is always the same. It matters not if I just left to go to the store and come right back, it’s there.

As I said, Cody is not the perfect child. In fact, he’s not even close to it. But, he tries. At least with and for me, he does. I remember one episode in which he struck out at me. Within a few minutes, he came to me, his heartache plain through his tear soaked eyes and cried his apology as he reached out to me. His apology was sincere, unasked for and lovingly accepted.

When he was just beginning to learn to read, he asked me to write him a letter so that he could always be near me. The words on that paper were a simple “I love you”. He treasured that letter for ages, never letting it out of his reach, always opening it and reading those three little words.

His love for me is evident and exposed for the world to see. It is without conditions. He loves me not because of what I can do for him, but, simply just because.

As a baby, his mother and father lived with me. Even then, he showed his preference for me. Although he did not like to be held by anyone, including his parents, he would cry until I picked him up. I fed him his first solid food, he crawled for the first time for me, and I saw him take his first step. Even then, he displayed total and complete trust in me.

When I have had to discipline Cody, he knows and understands that it is because I love him. Even though he does not like it, he accepts his punishment and still reaches out to me with love afterwards.

Even today, it is still me that he turns to for guidance.

As I reflect upon how he has captured my heart, my eyes are suddenly opened with perception and understanding.

I now comprehend how King David, despite his many flaws and sins was a man after Yahwehs own heart. He showed the same pure, undaunted love for Yahweh as Cody does me. When he sinned, he repented, genuinely from deep within his heart, his soul. He was never ashamed to show his love for God, even to the extent of dancing for joy in front of his entire kingdom. He wrote of and sang of his love for Yahweh. He spent time with Yahweh because he wanted to, not out of duty. He loved and trusted Yahweh with all his being, regardless of what the situation was or appeared to be.

How humbled I am to have been given such revelation.

I understand now how my Creator, my Father feels and what He wants of me and His other children. He wants to be loved just simply because He is who He is and not what He can or will do for us. He doesn’t want me to be ashamed of my love for Him or to hide it from the world. He desires for me to be eager to spend time with Him, for me to trust Him inexplicitly. He doesn’t ask of me to be perfect, but that I realize my imperfections and that I apologize sincerely to Him when I do sin. He wants me to understand that He has my best interests in heart and that there will be painful times when, out of love, He must discipline me.

Simply, He wants to be favored above all things.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Judy Anderson03/07/05
This is an enjoyable story of unconditional love. You draw a descriptive picture of Cody! Great job.
Sally Hanan03/10/05
Really good comparison here, but strangely enough my heart was sad for Cody's mom, in that she did not get those firsts.
Dixie Phillips03/11/05
Great story! Pulls at the heart-strings! My grandmother had a profound impact on my life just as you are on your grandson's. They helped raise me. May JESUS help you never grow weary in the work of love. I see the "SON" in your eyes.
Nancy Hardy03/12/05
This is a tender and encouraging read. I am however torn. While I cherish that you were the recipient of these first, I too feel for the mom, who perhaps is feeling as though her son is showing favoritism. That, nevertheless, doesn't distract from your story, it is still, a wonderful piece. - Nancy
Kathy Cartee03/13/05
Enjoyable read.
Sometimes it is hard to tell if the story is real life or fiction.
I have two children that are bi-polar. I was told that this does not usually show up until late teens or early twenty's. never the less it is very well written and a good comparison.

The heartbreak of seeing your child go through their first episode of Bi- polar can hardly be explained unless you have been there yourself. God has been faithful and provided for my children and the first episode was the worst but they function well as long as they stay on their medication. Sad to say many with Bi-polar will not listen to their doctors.

Many blessing to you and your family :