Popsicles and ice cream featured prominently in my children’s earlier years. We hosted “Popsicle parties,” where the neighborhood youth gathered in our driveway on hot summer days to slurp the colorful treats. They would hose each other down afterwards, cooling off and rinsing away the inevitable streams of red and orange that had made their way down each belly. I remember plenty of ice cream socials in our backyard on balmy summer evenings. (OK, in Houston maybe they weren’t quite so balmy. Sometimes the mind embellishes the memory.) Whole families would gather, each bringing a favorite topping, to feast on a collection of Blue Bell’s tempting flavors. Blue Bell is the best tasting ice cream in the country. Just ask any Texan.
Popsicles also helped heal the inevitable bangs and bruises of childhood. Often my kid’s “boo-boos” involved the mouth, with lips and tongue swelling in the aftermath of the latest collision. A stickful of sweet frozen ice was a handy way to cool the injury while cheering the injured.
Fast forward several years to hot day in Cozumel. Somehow my hand got caught in the well-slammed door of an aging cab. My husband, the culprit, felt awful but had to pay the cab and tend to our things. My children, barely teenagers, scurried to the market to find a way to ease my pain. Before long, I was seated in the shade, my husband apologizing profusely as our not-so-young ones approached. They presented me with an Eskimo Pie. (For those of you unfamiliar with this treat, it’s a small block of vanilla ice cream enrobed in a hard chocolate shell, delicious but not terribly effective in healing an injured thumb.) Loving care on their faces, they presented it to me and explained, “We couldn’t find any Popsicles, so we brought you this.”
I’m pretty sure all my discomfort vanished at that moment. Who could care about a sore finger? Their memory, albeit a bit altered, of my parental attempts to comfort them had merged with their concern for me and brought us to this very sweet moment. That was the best ice cream bar I will ever eat.
When we bring gifts of worship, service or worldly goods to our heavenly Father, I believe he is delighted, however feeble our attempts. He wants our love because he loves us. Don’t spend a lot of time worrying that you may end up handing him an ice cream bar when he really needs a Popsicle. He doesn’t really need anything. All he wants is you.