I always love late afternoons when I get to have long Facetime sessions with my Florida people. There’s not always a lot of time after work, on either end, but yesterday, the stars aligned and we were gifted with a nice chunk of it.

Brody walked for me (something he’s doing more and more, unless he really needs to get there fast), gave me two-toothy grins, waved hello and goodbye, and said “Uh,” which is his version of “Uh Oh.” He seemed delighted I was there whenever he happened to stop what he was doing long enough to catch a glance of the screen.

Then Lilli heard my voice.

She commandeered the device, turned the camera around and gave me a (very bumpy and somewhat nauseating) tour of the house, and then she sent me to my own playroom to visit my play horses. Once done there, we both settled in on our respective sofas, and turned on “Martha Speaks,” to watch together on my TV. She didn’t move for the first 20 minutes of the show. Then, breaking the silence (and interrupting the world’s only talking dog), she said,

Mimmie? Are you done?

I answered her with the same question, to which she replied,

Well, yes, but if you’re not finished yet, I’ll keep watching.

After I released her, and we gave kisses through the screen, I thanked her for thinking of me first. I’m not sure she completely got what I was saying, as she flew off that thing before I could really finish, but regardless, I’m very proud of her. After all, she’s 3. Selflessness isn’t typically a hallmark of the 3-year-old’s wheelhouse.

However, as I went about my evening, I thought more about it and realized that selflessness is sadly not a hallmark in MANY of our wheelhouses. Something that seems like it should become more and more prevalent in our nature as we mature, somehow becomes more and more diminished instead, all but being obliterated completely by the self-centric focus of the world. Like the fledgling flame of a new candle, the inherent gift of caring for others gets snuffed out, before it can really blaze, in an environment where self sucks all the oxygen out of the room.

We’ve got to fan that flame to keep it alive. We have to encourage others to it, by modeling selflessness to a starved world of singular selves. You can start with something simple, too. Maybe take a cue from Lilli, and offer to keep watching, if the other guy’s not finished.

Actually, that sounds just exactly like God. But then, finished or not, He’s always watching.


“Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3 ESV

But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave.” Matthew 20:26-27 NLT

““What’s the price of a pet canary? Some loose change, right? And God cares what happens to it even more than you do. He pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries.” Matthew 10:20-31 MSG