When I was a child, I used to talk like a child, and see things as a child does and think like a child; but now that I have become an adult, I have finished with all childish ways.
- 1 Corinthians 13:11 (NJB)
Paul messed us up terribly. He's done a lot of good, sure. And I agree that we must mature in our faith and move on toward perfection. We would be foolish to remain in diapers when we have a big-girl panties kind of radical faith. He's done us a great disservice, however, with his metaphor suggesting that we should put aside all childish ways.
There are days I long to act like a child more. I want to do nothing but play "sister princesses" at Sevier Park all day with Emma Anne, the two of us ruling the world and playing in our fabulous "castle" (what the unimaginative call a jungle gym). I want to eat popsicles slowly, not caring that the sun will melt them because I'll just lick my fingers in the end anyway. Some days I want to see things as a child does. I want to believe that all children play games and can hardly sleep on Christmas Eve and hate broccoli instead of the reality that some hide from war lords, are molested in the night or wish they had anything at all to eat. I want to talk like a child more. I want to ask questions all of the time. I want to instinctively know that something is wrong and just crawl in my mother's or father's lap and give them hugs and kisses, rather than trying to fix marital bliss gone awry with words.
I love my childish ways and am happy that I can still find healing in hopscotch and hula hoops, remember how small I am and how big God is, be comforted with crayons and a a coloring book. I wish that I would always believe that, even in my smallness, I can put on super powers to run faster than any human being. I don't want to be naive or disobedient or living in a pile of crap for hours; there are some childish ways I happily put behind me. Unlike Paul, however, I have no desire to put away all of my childish ways. In fact, I'm committing to embracing them even more--practicing forgiveness like a child, drawing on more sidewalks, laughing in my hula hoop and coloring outside the lines. This month I plan to incorporate play into my daily routine and spiritual practices. I'll title any blogs I write about this "Hopscotch & Hula Hoops." I hope you'll play with me . . .