Last night as I went to say goodnight to Jacob, I looked down at a sock monkey someone had made for me a few years ago. I picked it up and brought it downstairs. I left it on the chair. I went back up to pray with Jacob and Tina and returned to the couch downstairs. I sat there and thought about children and the similarities between how I would want my children treated. How God treats me. I sat there and looked at the sock monkey. (As a child I thought a particular sock monkey was God. Not sure why. But I did. Telling the story one day, a lady gave me a new one.)
Funny, I thought as I stared at him. I would love to just write children’s stories and books. Life was simpler. Oh, the lessons you could lay out. Not just a good lesson, but even a God lesson.
The sock monkey looked at me “all knowingly”. Too often in life we make life considerably more difficult than it has to be. Maybe just maybe, we are being prepared to capture some of those simpler times. To bring them into now.
That one memory of a simpler, quiet time, pulled into your now. Yesterday, I helped Jacob make little creations that he and his siblings have been selling. We watched some early Little Rascals(1930’s), talked and played. What is it about just being family people are avoiding, dismissing?
I clearly was not a poster child for “perfect child” but we embraced things.
I had a friend Geoff. I was 9. He was 11. He and I decided to make a carnival in the woods. We asked a few friends to help. We gathered tarps, wood, hammer and nails and anything we could find. We planned it for the coming Saturday. We had booths and events. We made a little money and kids from all over the neighborhood appeared. The average kid was there 2-3 hours. We had thought outside the box. Those were simpler things. Simpler times. And we had fun.
And in God? More and more people are writing me about revival. About the simple things of their youth in Him. Worship, community and more. A friend who has been around a while, wrote this recently. Jesus invaded my day today. I’m undone. So much vision stirred up in me… things from over 30 years ago… things that “we” knew God had promised to us… things of the Presence and the Power of God that eclipsed everything back then… and now again seems to be emerging … for sure! “It’s bigger than that!” Been reflecting on those who selflessly poured into my life and stirred those visions…
I feel as if God is saying, “great technology. But I am not on a wall or in a speaker. I am in you. In you! Wonderful plans, but I have a greater plan.” My sock monkey reminded me we have the capacity for making things difficult when He is right there!
Imagine a woman carrying a baby and never nurturing it or caring for it. We would be upset and rightfully so. Here we are carrying the King of Kings on the inside and He is wanting to get out. To participate more in our music, in our worship, in our lives as community and family. He wants out! Our cries for “heaven on earth” are triggering our birthing of Him here and now.
We have been so caught up on destiny,creativity and “doing the stuff” we have forgotten where the “stuff” came from. It has been colored, glossed and “cleaned” up when the “real deal” is right inside waiting for an entrance.
The Lord has been talking to me and others about the simple things. The simpler times. We are the ones who complicate things. We oft times make choices that are preferable to pain or patience and wonder why it is difficult when we are done. We even know the “rules” of good living and make the choices we know are just band-aid approaches.
Over the last few months I had developed a growth on my arm. I had prayed. Others had prayed. It continued to grow. It was nearly a 1/2” high and perhaps as round. While Jacob and I were playing he hit. It tore out and blood began to flow. I stood there in the bathroom as blood ran down my arm. The “roots” of it were bigger than the growth that had shown.
Sometimes it is not just what you see, but what is hidden that is painful. Each day for months I have dealt with the pain. Just putting a shirt on caused pain. Maybe we have allowed things in our life to grow out of control, never seeing the manifestation of where it is headed. Perhaps the restoration of play is the answer.
I sense we are returning to the basics of the gospel. Faith in Him, prayer, family and friends. I think it is as I have mentioned before. A season of love. It is going to rattle our cages and cause us to look up. But then we are going to remember. How in love we were with Him. With others. Devices will be set down and TVs will be shut off. Love is permeating our being.
This weekend I thought of my dad passed on 18 years. A friend of some 20 years passed way too early last week. A woman I have know some 55 years passed this weekend. Gary Owens who spoke of “beautiful downtown Burbank” passed. And through it all I thought, each one represented a simpler time. I think it is time to get back to basics.