Refrigerator Love

By Michael Temple

Photo by Dreamstime

The doors of our refrigerator would never make the cover of Better Homes and Gardens…not even close. In fact, some people might wonder if we’ve ever seen the factory-built white areas of our refrigerator doors at all. They are absolutely crammed with notes, pictures, magnets, and personal scribbles from children that we have known and loved. It’s amazing how much one can accumulate on their refrigerator doors if they just begin displaying everything that children send their way.
 
Over the years, my wife and I have taped up coloring pages from children who quietly scribbled on them in church, pictures of our own kids, and love notes to one another. We’ve enjoyed placing graduation announcements and wedding invitations from kids that we have known from infancy to adulthood. 
 
More than once I’ve told some small child, “If you color a picture for me, I will hang it on the refrigerator at my house.” It always makes them smile when they visit because I usually take them to the old white appliance and show them where I put the picture that they worked so hard to produce. Affirming their worth to us seems to make them feel special, and more often than not they want to immediately color another picture right then and there. 
 
The people I love and care about go on my refrigerator doors. This hodge-podge of life snippets from people that we adore gets updated, rearranged, and repurposed from time to time, but the outer surfaces always remain crowded with reminders of the special people that we have been blessed to cross paths with. 
 
"The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: 'Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love…”' (Jeremiah 31:3, KJV).
 
More often than not, my attempts to do good things probably end up looking no better than a four-year-old's wandering crayon marks that are clearly outside the lines. I’m thankful that my Heavenly Father looks into my heart and sees the desire to give Him the best I have to offer. I’m convinced that if God had a refrigerator, my picture would be on it...not because I’m such a wonderful person, or because I deserve to be affirmed, but because He really loves me.