I read something in a local newspaper this week that spoke to me. The writer was reflecting on a moment spent with his son lying on the grass, and the joy of being a child. We spend so much of our childhood years yearning to be adults, yearning to be 18 when we can drive or vote. Yet the minute we step over that threshold in to adulthood, we realise the beauty of what we have left behind, or should I say as we get older we realise that beauty was what we left behind.
Over the past few months God has been leading me to discover pieces of that child within me. Pieces of the beauty, growing up led me to forget. It’s been a good journey, one of contentment and of great discovery. Over time I have discovered parts of myself that are important for my future journey. Pieces of beauty that have deepened my relationship with Messiah.
As children we have this innate ability to discern beauty. We can laugh care – free, lie on the grass and dream, we can shout and play and not think about – are the neighbours going to hear, are we going to be able to pay the bills this month. Am I gonna die of a sickness, or rare disease (heaven forbid!) But as children we just are and we just can!
My mom visited this weekend and while she was here I asked her, “What was I like when I was younger?” Her answer was peculiar, I don’t think she really remembers and I don’t blame her, I don’t either. I could also see how who I am today, has shaped her idea of who I was twenty years ago. Only God can truly restore the jewels inside of us, restore us back to the pieces of ourselves that were beautiful, that got left behind.
I also thought of all my friends who are currently bringing up their own kids and I realised how much pressure children are under today. And I want to tell all my believed friends not to rush their children. Not to force them to be adults before their time, give them the set of values they will need to get through the years ahead but let them lie under the tree and dream. I told my husband the other day that I remember the very moment when I forced to slowly let my childhood innocence and play, die. I loved to play as a child, right up in to my teenage years. Until one day a very mean school friend told me that mature girls don’t play games, they wear make up to school and act mature (whatever that means!). I remember the grief I felt at her statement. I remember staring over at myself in the mirror and making the decision to change. It was a heart breaking moment, a defining moment and it was wrong. Wrong for others to force me to give up what was God’s gift of innocence to me.
I have grieved that moment and I have released it, been healed from it and now I can play again. Different games. Meaningful ones, like writing, painting, baking, laughing, lying on the veranda and staring up at the stars. Whatever catches my fancy because inevitably I am God’s child, still the little girl in God’s Garden. For me that’s the beauty of Eve, she was a little girl in the Garden of Eden. She was innocent, naked and unashamed, able to run with the birds, talk to the animals and play. She was a child, where nothing separated her from the Presence of God. No worries to declutter before she started praying, no voices to tell her to put a shirt on and grow up. Nope, just little Eve alone in a big garden, with a little boy and God. How blissful, how sweet and how incredibly free!
What were you like when you were a child? What did you enjoy doing and how is God awakening this child - like beauty in your life today?