Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.
1 Chronicles 29:13
When Plum finished his after school snack, pretend play began in earnest. Our script was a pick-up basketball game, we began to select players. I was choosing friends from his class, I could keep track of the names better. He was making up names, how he remembers these things, I don’t know. Our teams were set, I thought and then he sprung the surprise pick on me, he said he had one more and it was Michael Jordan. Seriously? Never mind that we are playing pretend basketball and he is going to win anyway, he has to bring in the biggest name, the greatest talent? I tried to forfeit but he wasn’t having it. He wanted to show his skills and let his team kill me. Actually we discovered he was much better than Michael, whom he forget to play mostly. Still, he knew throwing out that name would throw me, would intimidate me.
In this house with a grandfather who obsesses over MJ, Plum can’t help but know about him. We talk about his sportsmanship, about his perseverance. We hold him up as a role model, even if he has fallen for grace a bit in later years. We know all about imperfection. So the name means something to Plum. The reputation has held strong for all these years. Just this week many names are falling, reputations are dropping, as truth about sordid, ugly, illegal behavior by top executives and power houses in industries is being exposed. Heart breaking to hear that idols we have watched on the big and small screen have treated women as objects, have shown so little respect to their peers. Their names will never regain their luster.
On this second day of gratitude focus, I am struck that I do not have to fear the secrets of God being revealed, the bad behavior, the sordid truths. God is God is God. We can indeed praise His glorious name, knowing we are safe in our praise, that this idol will not fail us. Knowing that Plum is aware that his fantastic dunking skills and his beautiful blue eyes and his kind heart are all really from God, I worry little about whose team we end up on. We are both winning with our Maker, who knows our names as well. Following His lead, we can find grace when we are tarnished, we can offer grace to those who falter. Just as I know I will never win a pretend game of basketball with this child, I am sure that God is who HE says He is, and that is everything.