Do you remember the old Sally Field Oscar acceptance speech when she says, “You like me! You really like me!”? (Maybe I’m showing my age. Google it.) One day I said this to my son, Evan. He was being sweet to me and I said, “Evan, you like me! You really like me!” Aaand the rest is history. He now says this ten times a day to us. And he asks every single person he meets if they ‘really like’ him. It’s a bit tricky to explain his language anyway. But when we have to translate the question of whether or not they like him, it can really put people on the spot. They are pretty much forced to say, yes, they like him. We, on the other hand, can tease him to our heart’s content and say, ‘no’, we don’t like him. He thinks this is hilarious, cracks up and asks us over and over if we do indeed ‘really like me,’ until we cave in and say, “YES! We like you, really like you!” He will even joke with us now when we ask if he likes us. His answer? “Mmm. Nope.”
Evan has no problem asking anyone, anywhere if they ‘really like me.’ His ego is such that he knows the answer will always be yes. However, he also doesn’t really care if they don’t like him. He never hesitates in asking this question. He will point his bony finger right at a complete stranger’s face and ask, “You really like me?” There is no concern about what if the answer is no. He is confident enough in himself whatever the answer. (Even though he is sure it will always be a yes.)
Does this make me look fat?
Me on the other hand … I am not so confident. I could learn a thing or two
or ten from Evan. I am scared to ask even my own family if they ‘like me, really like me’ for fear the answer just may be no. Or not even a flat-out no, but an ‘eh.’ Or ‘I could take you or leave you.’
And I will never ask any single person, “Does this dress make me look fat?” Because what if the answer is something close to, “Well, it’s just okay.” Ugh. It would crush me for years on end. I would lay awake at night thinking about it. I am just one of those people who needs positive feedback. (Go on, analyze.)
I wish I could confidently share everything I’ve written without worry of what people are thinking as they sit at their computer screens. (Wait, maybe I don’t really want to know!) Or sing without my voice quivering with fear. (No, that’s not vibrato.) Or even speak in public (more than two people) without worry of my words spilling out in an embarrassing, jumbled mess.
I am just one of those people who can’t stop wondering what people think about me. Do they ‘like me, really like me?’
Please say yes. Oh, how I wish I had the confidence of Evan. Here is a young man with what this world sees as multiple disabilities. And he couldn’t care less what anyone thinks of him. He knows he has these ‘disabilities.’ He hears about others with the same issues and immediately relates to them. He feels a camaraderie. But he still has not a minute of worry for what the world thinks of how he walks, talks, thinks or acts. He is who he is. Take him or leave him. He is most confident you will ‘like me, really like me.’
Being Bold With God’s Gifts (2 Timothy)
I can learn so much from Evan. His disregard for what others think gives him freedom; a joy and zest for life that is enviable. Evan knows the gifts God has given him and he is confident in them. He uses them to the fullest. He is great at engaging people. He loves to talk to everyone, everywhere. Anytime we go somewhere he asks if he will be able to say ‘hi.’
God has once again given me an example right before my eyes. I needn’t worry about what others think of me. I should be confident in my God-given gifts as well. Remember that Bible verse about the spirit of timidity not coming from God? (2 Timothy 1:7) Maybe I should brush up on that one.
As usual, my biggest life lessons can be learned from the person the world would never look towards. While most of the world is assumes they only have things to teach Evan and others like him, I am learning that God is using him in a mighty way to teach me. Every day Evan teaches me Biblical ways just by living them out.
So, do you ‘like me really like me?’ Evan is teaching me it isn’t about the answer to this question. The answer is that I use the gifts God has given me. Hiding our gifts doesn’t do God any good, right. “Hide it under a bushel, NO! I’m gonna let it shine.” (Sorry. Couldn’t resist.) What are your God-given gifts? What have you been hiding?