I looked in the mirror a moment ago. I saw a guy. Father of kids in their early twenties. I’m married and enjoying it. Yet, the mirror is deceiving. I’m still the boy.
I’m still the boy who used to climb the cottonwood tree in front of our house on Alhambra street, look into the sky just before a storm, and wonder if Jesus was coming soon.
I’m still the boy who winced and felt shame at a very early age after telling a significant adult in my life that I liked a girl in my class. I remember hearing him laugh and making fun of this. While I would tell myself in later years that such an incident meant nothing, the moment nevertheless would be etched into my memory.
I’m still the boy who used to deliver the Dallas Morning News on my bike at 4:30 AM in my neighborhood. I can remember sitting on the street corner at Hilburn and Tillman folding newspapers under a street light. (Was this before crime?)
I’m still the boy who felt flush with embarrassment after I bought the wrong equipment for pee-wee football. To this day, I can recall feeling foolish as the volunteer coach explained to me that this probably wouldn’t work.
I’m still the boy who put "doodlebugs" in my pockets and walked up and down the alleys near our house looking for great finds in other people’s trash.
I’m still the boy who played football and baseball in the "field" just behind our house with lots of neighborhood kids. How many summers did I spend running those bases? How many winters were spent pretending to be Dallas Cowboys players in game after game on this field? Games lasted into the evening until one of us heard a mother call out, "Dinner’s ready!"
I’m still the boy who used to wear cut-off shorts, a white tee shirt, and ride my bike all over Pleasant Grove (our community in the Dallas area). How many times did I go to the model car and plane store, next door to the post office, and stare at the expensive models?
I’m still the boy who joined the Boy Scouts and learned how to camp, start a fire, and hike, as well as so many other skills that I would use for many, many years.
I’m still the boy who loved to go to my grandparents’ house each Christmas. I remember riding in my grandpa’s truck on a snowy Christmas day as he took me to the woods to walk around in the snow and look at deer tracks. To this day, I can recall the crunching sound that his boots made as we walked through the woods.
I’m still the boy who felt such delight when I received a few words of encouragement from Mrs. Cummings, my seventh grade social studies teacher.
I’m still the boy who was baptized at age ten after thinking and praying a lot about Jesus. I remember reading that burgundy covered Bible, red-letter edition, that my father brought home from Grove Hill Cemetery where he worked.
I’m still the boy God worked through in numerous ways during those early years. Looking back, I realize that he worked through many people to shape and form me. At the time, I had no idea that he was at work through so many people and in so many situations.
A few minutes ago, I looked in the mirror. I don’t look like a boy anymore. But inside I know the truth. Inside, I’m still the boy.
Do you relate to this? Do you ever feel as if you are still the boy or still the girl?