Anticipating tomorrow’s Trek to the Manger (chapter 10), I am channeling my inner child by remembering what it was like to play a favorite, childhood game… It’s good to remember! Take time today to feel like a child again; then give some much needed grace to those around you who would be better served by “growing down” – instead of “up” – today.
I close my eyes and I’m there, on the front lawn, at dusk.
Giggling girls, tired of straining to defy gravity (some of us just weren’t made to be gymnasts), have traded cartwheels and handstands for a wild game of Statues.
And there I am in the center of the yard, outstretched arm grasped by two small hands, ready to be spun at speeds faster than my mother would approve. On the verge of dizziness, I feel my arm fly free and momentum carry me around the yard as if I’ve been flung at full speed from a merry-go-round. Slowing down, eventually I land in an awkwardly triumphant pose, which I hold as best I can while fighting the pull that threatens to take me to the ground. Hardly breathing, I wait like a statue as the girls circle me, prolonging their decision in order just to see me sweat; and then, the naming.
Rock star! Sasquatch. Basketball player. Ballerina. Darth Vader.
Breaking pose, I fall laughing to the ground before another round begins.
The game of Statues.
Have you ever played? It’s not unlike the way I feel inside as I close my eyes tonight, tired of straining to defy gravity and entropy and the clock that ticks this day into the next at a speed I don’t approve. Today life has spun me around and around, and although I’ve a sense that it ought to be fun, it isn’t and I’m dizzy and I just want to make it stop.
The release. Tightly wound now, it’s as if life has flung me from one corner of the ring to the other, and I’m bouncing off the ropes and grasping at the air, and grasping at the air…
And slowing down. Gaining some control, I try to stick the landing, fighting the tug that wants to see me hit the ground, that wants to see me fail and fall to pieces – but I land on my feet. I land on my feet in a ridiculous pose, which I hold as best I can while waiting breathlessly for the naming to begin.
The names I expect, considering the shape I’m in, are names like:
Wannabe. Just-shy-of-the-goal. Maybe someday. Maybe not. Poser.
I’m sweating it now (just a hot flash?). I’m doing my best just to hold it together, to keep from collapsing into a puddle of tears, when the Voice speaks an unexpected name over me. And then another.
Beloved. Child of Promise. Masterpiece. Forgiven. Set Free.
Spun, flung, landed and named, the statue breaks pose and I fall, laughing and crying, into the arms of the One whose healing Presence strengthens me for tomorrow.
Another round begins.