“Want nana to kiss it all better?” … “Come here and I will hug you all happy again.” Feeling good by attending to feeling bad. Nothing changes except the feeling. And then we grow up and put away such childlike things.
“It’s not my job to make you feel better.” … “Let me know when you have figured us out.” Feeling good by not attending to you feeling bad. Nothing changes except the relationship. It’s called being an adult.
How does that happen? That we go from attendees to absentees? That we go from connecting to expecting? That our internal bleeding requires us to be our own internal trauma team? Or else we are labelled needy. And that is not a compliment in my experience.
“Feeling spiritually empty is merely a comma – a pause.”
Beauty Beyond Bones: “Last Minute Miracles”
BBB touched on something every believer says at points in any walk of faith: a dry place … a desert … a distancing … a desire to dump. A lonely place.
And usually good advice follows: times of famine are followed by times of feast (so hang in there) … the night is always darkest just before dawn breaks (so hang in there) … a time of testing is a time of teaching (so hang in there).
We seem taught to find a reason for this “absentee God” still in our lives – except God does not wander away – we wander from God. So hang in there and “your feet will find their way home” in His good time.
It’s kind of a grown-up adult mature-Christian kind of thing. Making things right with God. No hugs from me required. I am in a verdant place with God. And you in your dry place? I can’t fix that. Only you can fix things with your God. Just like me and my God fix our things.
“Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely, who conduct their affairs with justice.” Psalm 112:5 NIV – Today’s “Verse of the Day” on Biblegateway.
Intellectually spot-on. The Psalms have some great lines. I will pass that on to someone who needs that verse.
“And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” “ Matthew 18:3
We have grandchildren around several times a week.
The one who is nearly four going on nearly seventeen comes out with some great lines. Childlike application of words and phrases heard from adults. Replies and responses perfectly timed and yet not quite perfectly placed.
And the tantrums of frustration. And the grumps of tiredness. And the stubbornness of not getting his own way. The wonder of ants walking across a stone. The focus on a favourite YouTube clip. The horror of being presented with some food that he loved last week. The gentle negotiation we will come to call manipulation. The falling asleep in the afternoon all of a sudden.
All of that childlike stuff.
Does becoming a mature Christian mean putting all that aside? That wanting God to kiss it all better, to hold us tight and hug us happy again, no wise words needed, no logical grown-up and mature-Christian fixing required … “that” is now suppressed in favour of adult rationalisation. The plodding on. The doing by rote. The disconnect from so much. The “I don’t do hugs any more – I am a grown up.”
I can be a grown-up and a child at the same time. I want to be both. I am both. How can I be anything else? Unless I dis-allow who I am – my whole holistic me?
So here’s to hugs.
The language of love.