Updated: Aug 8
But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” -Luke 18:16
There is something so awe inspiring when watching the wonderment of a child’s imagination unfold. Being able to get completely lost by picking up a piece of cardboard and making it into a spaceship or make a shield and a sword and pretending to be a mighty knight to slay dragons or defend yourself against other armies. It’s a beautiful thing to witness them engage in play, wondering who or what they are talking to. Listening to them shout demands at the rest of their army. Plotting out schemes and tactics against the opposing army.
I remember that sensation I would experience when I would get lost in playtime. Everything would feel so real and wonderous. Scenes would play out, characters would be there and imagination would play out as real life. Nothing felt like “pretend”. It was just me and the characters played out in front of me. One person I spoke to often was God. I don’t remember exactly how I knew of him but intuitively I knew he existed. He was a real, larger than life figure but not a real tangible person I could physically see or touch. But I remember He was there for me no matter what.
My best memories of our conversations always existed in nature. Raw and real discussions took place while I untangled my thoughts with him. I never got a reply but I do remember experiencing an overwhelming sense of unconditional love. I got lost in the world after sometime. Maybe it was the frustration that he wasn’t talking back, or that I couldn’t get a hug from him. It could have been that I prayed so hard and what felt like an eternity for things to get better only for things to remain the same or get worse. I sought instant gratification instead of nurturing the one relationship that would bring me peace over my lifetime.
It’s amazing how just one picture can evoke so many lost feelings. “in the beginning….” I was open, honest and close to him. I lost my childhood curiosity and faith on the path to worldly things and adulthood. Now as an adult I find myself reverting back to the beginning. I come to him like a child running to their father with open arms after a long time apart. I open myself to the spiritual, childlike sense of wonderment and awe getting lost in prayer and meditation. I now imagine him and his love with no expectations or limits. I cannot seek instant gratification anymore; this relationship is where I seek peace, comfort, stillness, joy and love. Just as children have an innate ability to trust and believe without reservation, I, too, find myself walking the path of life, not solely by what is visible, but guided by the whispers of the heart and the unseen hand of Christ my father.
Photo credit: my friend Ashley