(Part of this was written last fall.)
“I had this wild longing to go running through the forests of my yesterdays.”
I read that in a comic book many years ago. Why do things like that stick in the mind? I think they reach something inside us, buried very deep, that we barely recognized as part of ourselves.
Because if we have any yesterday’s worth longing for, any childhood fairytale days worth remembering, of course we would love to return to them. To run again in the total abandonment of youthful vigor, down the dirt road in our bare feet, just to feel the rush of the wind past your face, to inhale a summer evening in all her glory. When all that mattered were fireflies and fishing. Why did we want to grow up? Did we even know how good we had it?
Ive felt that longing in the bright, glorious October sun of late. It’s a strange urge to run away and live in the woods forever, as if the sunshine and Autumn colors could be held in place for eternity. As if the darkness of winter would never descend. It’s that breath of Eden, whispering promises of another world. A world I can be homesick for although I’ve never felt its perfect lush grass, where jagger’s and thorns will never pierce your bare feet. It saddens me a bit that it has taken so long to recognize that this longing will one day be fulfilled in the new Earth.
“Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
What did Jesus mean? I’m 50 years old. I can’t become a child again.
“We lose our wonder bit by bit, we condescend, and in the end, we lose our very souls.” (Don Henley)
Now, everyone who has been on here for a while knows I love theology. I want to dive deep and not have a child’s surface understanding of the scripture.
But, Jesus says become the child. Trust not in your own understanding, but trust me like a child trusts a good mother. A climb up on my lap and fall asleep in my arms kind of trust. Don’t be the angry Pharisee shouting on the street corner about damnation, but have a faith in me built on mutual love and trust. Children love without holding back anything. They even love toads and dogs and chickens that way. But when even small hearts get broken, trust becomes guarded and slow.
By the time we are adults, our hearts are more guarded and broken and scarred and trust is harder. We don’t even trust ourselves much if we really dig down deep enough to know ourselves.
Do you suppose there is a connection between the loss of wonder and the loss of trust? We think we know the shape of the world now, and it is soaked in skepticism and cynicism and divided by deep schisms. Because people aren’t trustworthy. How can God ask us to open our wounded hearts to him in such a world?
It is a strange paradox, but this brokenness we have aquired can bring wholeness. To allow Christ to enter through those torn pieces of the soul and bind himself deeper, ever deeper to what remains, isn’t that a cross worth bearing? Isn’t any pain worth bearing if it leads to redemption? Because I don’t think redemption was what we thought it was. It’s not just getting saved. We who are busted up and needy need saving on a daily basis, redeemed a thousand times a week, revived every moment.
“Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.”
Hope is hard to come by some days. Hope in our selves, faith in ourselves is vain and useless. We break in order to be healed again, to be healed more. And I remember a line from “Batman Begins” of all things.
“Why do we fall down Master Bruce? So we can pick ourselves back up.”
No Alfred, we fall down so that He can pick us back up.
“We dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus name.”
We can only trust the One who also said:
“Take heart, I have overcome the world.”
So take your hearts back, you redeemed. He will bind you back together, if you but offer your heart freely, with a child’s trust, and you can face tomorrow with a new and lasting hope. Peace be with you, children of the King.