Pointing Out the Monsters to a Secret-Sharing Dad


Warning: I’m about to make a loose Pride & Prejudice reference.

There’s a scene in pride & prejudice that has stuck with me. Not sure if you’ve ever seen it, but in the scene Jane & Elizabeth have pulled the covers over their heads and share secrets.

I honestly can’t even remember the context, but something about that image stuck with me last summer when I worked at a camp for inner-city kids.

I remember—in subtle, intimate moments—where I’d be running through wooded trails on a summer night months ago, imagining the crazy possibility that God could be the kind of Dad that would be to you and me like Jane & Elizabeth were to each other.

Imagine me imagining, occasional chills while my feet pounded against the pavement, that God would be a big, boisterous, effusive, and royal Dad.

He’d have enormous hands, for sure. They’d probably be a little worn and rough from years of work, but I bet they’d be soft enough to calm us a little bit as their warmth braced against our rosy cheeks.

I don’t know if he’d be wearing a crown, a tie, or a baseball cap when he came into my room.

But I know for sure that he’d let down the formal stuff once he came in.

And most of all, if for even a passing glance he could tell if a fear was stuck inside and bothering me, he wouldn’t hesitate for a moment but to crawl into the bed with me, pull the blankets over, and gather my tiny frame into his chest before gently asking what the matter was.

And no matter what it was bothering me-- petty conflict or looming monster-- he’d respond with the same attentive eyes, the same whispers that he’d take care of it, and the same kiss on the forehead.

Nobody doubts it’s a dangerous world out there.

The danger outside makes a lot of places unsafe; the fear inside makes every place feel at least a little unsafe and tentative.

Since stepping out of a campus movement I co-founded, I’ve learned that there’s time to engage in the big, bad, and broken world and there’s time to pull back & sit with the brokenness that’s inside.

I’ve also realized how rare it is to be just one of those things at any given moment.

When in security, we secretly yearn for uncertainty; when in uncertainty, we lean on something we think is secure.

So recently I'm pointing out the big giant monsters looming around me—whether it’s inadequacy, depression, frustration, or insecurity—pulling my head under the covers in between moments in my life.

Imagination is a powerful thing, but it's a little like grasping running water.

So between sight and blindness, whimsy and depression, I find confidence that attentive eyes don’t require my perception to be real, whispers of love don’t have to be heard to be spoken, and kisses on the forehead don’t have to be felt to be meant.

Blankets pulled over & gathered in by Love, what monsters in your life would you point out amidst the in-between moments of your ordinary life?


photo source: sleeping at last, once again. geoff benzing the original artist, once again. from the song "light."

#wonder #fear #relationships #imagination #reflections