Sunday, August 29, 2010

That a Girl!

"Look at me, mommy!"

"Mama, look over here! Watch this!"

"Mommy, watch me jump over this!"

These were the shouts that I heard all morning as the girls played on the jungle gym, jumping from the end of the slide, swinging on the monkey bars, climbing up the chain ladder. I smiled as I took in their joy, heart warmed by their play. I was struck by their desire to be seen, for their achievements to be noticed.

"Mommy, are you watching?"

They would stand at attention at the end of the platform, readied in position to launch themselves into the sand pit, and yet would pose, waiting until eyes were on them before making the move. Then, launch! And then shoot up like an Olympic gymnast, arms like arrows extended in the air, body straight and stiff, awaiting the applause.


"Bravo! Bravo! Well done! So proud of you! That was amazing! I can't believe you jumped so high!"

The look of satisfaction, joy, success. They accomplished, and then they were praised. They smile big with pride, stand taller, and are bold and confident to do more. And me, their mama, the one who carried and bore them, stand tall with pride and joy to see my angels fly, to see my girls learn and grow and accomplish through courage. I am so proud of them.

"That's my girl! Well done!"

They have so much to learn, and everyday is an opportunity for growth. They are learning how to interact with each other, learning how to love selflessly, learning how to forgive and make amends. They are learning what it looks like to love Jesus, and everyday is an opportunity to learn more. And I am more proud of them everyday. Not every moment is perfect, and there is still much to learn, but their journey has begun, and my prayer is that Jesus is more real to them and more alive in their lives than I have ever experienced.

And then I just wonder about our Father, the One who has birthed us all by the workings of His mighty hands and the beauty of His own imagination. And I wonder about the Son and how He came to show us a new way, The Way. His teachings were so against the mainstream, so counter-intuitive. He taught us to turn the other cheek, and it sounds altruistic and beautiful on paper, but living it out makes the flesh cringe. He taught us to forgive quickly, and it sounds noble on paper, but then the heart rages against offense and wants to get even. And He taught us to forsake the things of this world, to be sure that the hungry are fed, and the orphans are cared for, to be sure that the poor are looked after. And then we begin to question and squirm, and look for technicalities, and justify taking care of ourselves first.

He taught us how to fellowship with those who do wrong, those who are immoral, and how to speak life and exhortation into such as those, but our lives are so full and so righteous. He taught us how to live in selfless community, looking for the God-image in all, restoring the Father-dignity that the evil one has stripped, but our to-do list must get done and we just don't have time. And what we have worked for, we have worked very hard for, and I like my privacy and my space, and the simple, counter-intuitive, counter-cultural teachings of Jesus become muddled and grey and watered down till the fire in my heart has been simmered into a slightly smoldering coal with barely an orange tint to it.

But then there are voices crying out in the wilderness, prophets in their own day, those who are speaking the stirrings of their heart, seeking out the voice that will guide them in obedience. There are visionaries who are risking it all, and those who are willing to step out. There is a stirring taking place, and quiet revolution seeking to bring Heaven to this broken pit. I have seen their hearts, those who are no longer content with the status quo of a system set in place by tradition or routines. Those who are no longer willing to do what they do simply because this is what we do. There is a quiet stirring, those who are questioning.

If we are told that the picture of the Church is a community that is willing to sell all their earthly possessions and come together, meeting each others' needs completely, are we as the Church not held to the same standard?

If we are told that the picture of grace is a body of people who have set aside their rights and are willing to put the needs of others before their own, are we not held to the same standard?

I just wonder about the ways of the Father, when we get ahold of a lesson, when we share our food with the hungry, or open our doors to someone in need of a roof over their heads, I just wonder if the Father doesn't smile over us.

"That a girl! Now you've got it."


  1. oh this whole paragraph, but thisline in particular: He taught us how to live in selfless community, looking for the God-image in all, restoring the Father-dignity that the evil one has stripped...

    shauna, yes! i wish for these eyes always... i wish them to see both the homeless person wanting a smoke to make the street more bearable as well as the impatient overtired, tantruming toddler in my own home. i want to see God-image in his images... the dignified, crazylove he's bestowed on all of us. this speaks to me tonight.

  2. This post deeply resonates with me, Shauna. I think we live our lives striving to please the wrong audience so often -- at least I know I do. I really should be striving to hear God say, That's my girl! Now you've got it. And that starts with obeying His specific commands --love Him and love my neighbor. So simple, yet so complex. Lovely thoughts. So glad I stopped by from Suzannah's!


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