Playtime

Sarah’s chubby fingers gripped the crooks of her folded arms.

Her usually cherubic face contorted into a grimace.

Her eyes became chocolate tongues of fire as she watched me collect the remaining cards.

In a crystalline 4-year-old aria, she sang,

“I don’t want to play any more.”

Now, the game was her idea.

She had bounced with excitement as I set up the board, arranged the cards, and gave her a game piece.

But Sarah stomped her Stride Rite sneakered feet in displeasure when she began to lose some of her gold tokens.

Something shifted when she realized that losing was a possibility.

I don’t want to play any more.

We can feel the same way at times in life.

We are granted moments that make us float with thrill and encounters that simmer into syrupy joy.

It is when these occasions threaten to persist

When they hint at continuance

That give us pause.

Because we know that floating too high can make you fall

And simmering can ease into a slow burn

And injury to our person

Our heart

Is imaginable.

The risk gets real.

And we don’t want to play any more.

But stopping the game means cutting a journey short.

Ending the happy

And closing the door to a win.

Yeah, painful defeat is conceivable.

So is exhilarating triumph.

Let’s see what’s next.

Stay in the game.  

And keep playing.

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The Wall

Growing up, there was nothing more magical to me than a department store.

As soon as my mother’s glossy mauve fingertips loosened on my wrist, I was off to explore this grand kingdom.

The circular clothing racks would transform into miniature weeping willows.

I’d part them to carefully settle into a hidden cave, a cozy and dark hideway specially carved for me.

My fantastical trek was always cut short when my mother’s voice reached through the colorful trees and beckoned me to the register.

Or as I’d call it, “The Wall.”

To a short 6 year old, the register counter was a particularly annoying presence.

Sullenly teasing me with its height, shrouding what was behind it in wallpapered mystery.

Balancing on the tips of my Keds with ballerina concentration offered no real revelation.

Just slivers of possibles.

Flashes of dollar bills in metal drawers.

Peeks of logoed paper bags.

Views of glass merchandise on clear shelves.

I’d catch only drops of what was there before I crashed back on my heels.

Back into frustrating cluelessness.

We always wonder

Always ponder

What is next.

What awaits us in the next chapters of our lives. 

But all remains hidden by the wall of time and our limited understanding. 

We can breathe easy in knowing that our Heavenly Father is far bigger than we are.

He sees and controls what lies behind

and beyond

the wall.

Jesus stands beside us at the counter

Smiling reassuredly as we see saw between our toes and heels

He sees what we don’t. 

And we can trust Him.


 

I trusted in, relied on, and was confident in You, O Lord;

I said, You are my God. My times are in Your hands…

Psalm 31:14-15a (AMP) 

The King

Recalling that I have a Father who lets His robe trail among twigs and His nail scarred feet walk upon hard cement to give His daughter her crown.
Thank You, Jesus.

the beautiful project

I can’t.

I can’t go on.

The words, weak and soft, were barely heard to her own ears.

She was so weary.

Her journey was long and rough.

Rough enough to lead her to a forest of broken trees and dead soil.

But she was so weary.

She walked a couple of steps more to a tree stump, where she eagerly collapsed.

She closed her eyes and breathed in deeply.

Unwanted tears spilled down her face but she didn’t wipe them away.

She just took a deep breath.

And exhaled.

Deep breath

And exhaled.

She lay there for a while in the quiet of night.

Too weary to move.

Too weary to speak.

Too weary to care.

Until a question came from behind her.

“What’s wrong?”

Without turning around, she exhaled,“I’m so tired. I don’t know what to do. I’m not good enough. I’m not doing enough of the right things…

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Click

It’s usually heard when something fits with another.

A short sharp chirp.

Like the grooved segment of a jigsaw part finding its compatible segment.

Or ragged zipper teeth sliding into their spaces in line.

Or the etched bars in a metal key that scrape the ridges inside of a lock.

The click.

Two pieces.

That can exist alone.

But united become a haven.

An instrument.

A masterpiece.

Designed to be better together than apart.

Crestfallen when it is elusive but elated when it is certain,

in relationships, we search for a click.

The click.

But it cannot be manufactured or manipulated.

A click, the click happens when it is meant to

Naturally.

Creak

Weak things creak.

Things like aging cedar stairs

Rusted metal barstools

Flimsy Styrofoam plates.

Certain relationships

They cry out under weight it can’t carry.

They wail from pressure it wasn’t designed to handle.

They whimper because decay has obliterated its strength

Weak things creak.

It’s the first clue of damage.

A sign that something needs inspection.

Weak things creak.

Things like aging cedar stairs

Rusted metal barstools

Flimsy Styrofoam plates.

Certain relationships.

Failure to examine such things can cause collapse.

And the frail notes of strain can become the beginning of an end.