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Posts Tagged ‘child’

I love the Family Circus cartoon to the left.

Bill Keane was such a talented animator who was gifted with the the knowledge that much can be said with few words, and a strong image. His Family Circus cartoon are probably my favorites of all times. He had a way of creating a picture that would not allow my eyes to move on, until I had ‘felt’ all that it was communicating.

Bill created so well this image that simply is the epitome of a warm fuzzy picture of a toddler in his warm and fuzzy sleepers, and mom seems to be still in her right mind. There is no vomit, leaking diaper, or signs of howling … in other words, it is an idealistic image 😉 .

Beyond being idealistic, it also makes me wonder …

“This is my favorite place – inside your hug.” Who do you read to be the one who is saying that? It would appear at first that the little one, with mouth open, is the one speaking the words. But then I look at the contemplative face of the mom, and think of how truer words have not been spoken by a mother.

As a mom of teenagers, I can still remember moments like that image. I can remember inhaling the scent of our little ones, enjoying the cleanliness of a child ready for bed, and relishing the feel of their little arms holding around my neck in a hug that could be confused as a death grip. I remember how utterly angelic their chubby faces, framed by feather soft hair. I remember the sound of their genuine words of affection that would seem to come from nothing in particular, just their most sincere love. I remember …

I have a secret … I am fearful that those moments are just a memory of days gone by. I am fearful that the awkwardness of adolescents will distance my children from physical hugs, touch, with me their mother.

Don’t get me wrong, I DO NOT WANT my children to be in their thirties, still living at home, and still saying that my hugs are their favorite place. That is just creepy!

But, they are a part of me, pieces of me who walk independently from me. They have been part of my body, and they will always be little (okay, as the shortest in the house ‘little’ may not be the right word) fragments of my heart traversing this life. I still feel a need for a connection to them, a conversation, a look, a touch.

For me, when I look upon this cartoon, it can only be the words spoken by the mom … “this is my favorite place – inside your hug.”

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Once upon a time, in a kingdom far far away …

So starts a typical fairy tale, in a typical fairy tale way. It’s predictable beginning leads into the duress of a princess, and the lengths that the prince will go to save her, and to save the kingdom from a dark and evil force. The ending is always the same … and they all lived happily ever after.

Now THAT sounds like my kind of kingdom … well, except for the dark and evil force bit.

Life, real life, is not like a fairly tale. In our real lives we are not all princes and princesses. In real life we are the common folk of the kingdom. We do the work, through blood, sweat and tears, so that the royal family might live, not as they deserve, but as part of their blessing from being in the right bloodline.

Over the past year I have been learning about the kingdom.

It all started with a simple question, one that all in that kingdom (society) at that time would have been able to answer. This question came from ones who knew the answer, but … they asked anyway … maybe they thought that his sovereign had a different perspective from the rest in the kingdom?

The question was, “who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom (of heaven)?”

Any of us who grew up on fairy tales could answer that one! Why the king of the kingdom is of course the greatest.

This man with royal blood flowing through his human veins flipped the kingdom on it’s royal backside. He brings a child into the middle of this group of royal watchers. In this kingdom, a child was … JUST a child (kind of like, for my hubby, the beast is JUST a dog). A child, in the time of this tale, would have no rights, no possessions … a child WAS a possession.

So, this robe wearing man said:

“I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. What’s more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it’s the same as receiving me.”

I am thinking that those kingdom quizzers were wishing that they had just stuck to simple questions at this point. Or maybe, they thought that they had asked a simple question?

Their royal leader had just turned their kingdom (societal) norms on their backsides! How could a grown man (woman) return to childhood? Who would want to? But, if they did not, they would be stuck on the outskirts of the kingdom, with the drawbridge forever pulled up.

This royal leader, Jesus, turned the kingdom, the world, up-side-down with his redevelopment plan of the kingdom. The blueprints he was drawing were nothing like the originals … he had gone back to square one.

And that is what He, the king who sits on the throne, asks of us … to allow ourselves to be re-created, re-fashioned, re-born into a new creation. He has fought the dark and evil forces that have lulled us into a lifetime of dreamless sleep. Now, we are invited to be awakened by the kiss of the king, into a life as heirs of the kingdom.

We become the princes and princesses of the fairy tale. And, after a lifetime of loving, and working, and struggling, and stress, and pressures, and heartaches … we will eventually live,

happily ever after.

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