Remember back to the time when you were'nt steeped in the cares of the world: your job, your bills, your investments, your things.
Pretend you are a small child looking up into the night sky with great wonder at the vastness before you, or at a rainbow spanning the horizon- one of those double rainbows that seem to go on forever - each color fading into the next. Who made these wonders?
Who made you?
Before we grew up and were jaded by the fast-paced careless world... before we were let down by others and hurt and disappointed in big things and small did you ever wonder about God?
Who was he to you? Who did you hope he was.. know he was? It was so easy to believe, to wonder, to dream when we were little, wasn't it? I see it in my own children. I envy it, and at the same time want to cherish that innocence and protect it. It's part of what draws us to children, I think. That openness they posses about life... God.. people. They aren't afraid to hope.
Where is that little child in us? Searching for someone to trust, someone who can make us safe. That feeling of security even when things are rocky around us... like when a loved one is very sick and close to death, or there is a bad storm and you are driving in it, or when your smoke alarms start screaming in the night and smoke is pouring out of your basement. Our hearts cry out for someone to save us. To take care of us.
I know we all grow up eventually and we gradually become the responsible ones whom little people look to for their own support, but most of us never lose that little child inside who wants to be taken care of. Don't you long for someone to love you as though you were a little child and simply desire to care for you, smile at your quirkiness and love you just as you are? Someone who will, out of great love for you, call you to grow... to become the best you can be?
Look for a moment beyond the modern ideas of God, the rules, the 'religion', the 'morality'. Look beyond the hypocritical Christians you may have met and the cliche bible verses that don't mean anything to you. Look beyond even the very words 'God', 'Jesus', 'Church'.
Look only within your own heart, deep down. Even very far far back if you have been hurt many times in your past. Somewhere, deep inside, does your heart not burn within you, desiring a love to watch over you? Don't we all want to be taken care of, be comforted and know that everything will be OK. That we can hope?
You might think me crazy, but I have found that hope.. because I have found Him - or rather he has found me.
That God of my childhood -- the one whom I knew existed even before I was taught about him. The one whom my own children believe in with a stronger faith than I. What joy my heart has in believing that there is someone out there watching over me and calling me to be kinder, more patient, more loving. What peace I have in my life, even through very difficult times.
Crazy, I know, especially to this modern world, but I choose to let the little child in me win out over the sceptical, intellectual grown-up. From what I've seen, little children, so trusting and innocent, are far more happy and peaceful than grown-ups who trust so few with so little. And I am so happy, and so free. I know that someone is taking care of me, and that is what this little child (who happens to have 5 of her own) really deeply longs for.
Let go for a moment of the disappointments and mixed up expectations about life that have put up walls between you and your heart's true hopes. We don't allow ourselves to hope anymore because we fear we will be let down... or we fear God would want us to change too many things and become this crazy religious person that we don't even recognize. When was the last time he forced anyone to do anything? He is a gentle wind, and a quiet whisper, the warmth in our heart. All he wants is for us to begin to hope.
Could you dare to be that little child again? Lift your face and look into the sky. Open the door to your heart a tiny crack and peek out.
Call me crazy, but I did. And having found it, I will never give it up.
Will you dare to hope?