5 March 2015 by romanin
Have you ever thought what it would feel like to be a kid again, to be unhindered by cultural and social expectations?
To scream ever so loudly when you’re frustrated. To laugh uncontrollably. To cry because it didn’t go your way.
Sometimes children show you part of yourself that you haven’t known in a long time. Throughout the day, my children do things and say things that make me realize I have become so conscious of myself that I rarely ever lose myself anymore.
Over the past few days, Nathaniel, Ethan and Abigail have all belly laughed so hard that they just kept on belly-laughing even after what they were laughing at ceased to actually be funny. They couldn’t NOT laugh! I found myself a little bit jealous of how they could find something so funny AND dwell on it and enjoy it. They let that feeling of “so funny” overwhelm their entire bodies and faces, to where their entire being for that moment just screamed, “SO FUNNY!”
Wouldn’t it be neat to have a few moments throughout the week where you just forget yourself and forget your ideas of what are normal, where you disregard the culturally acceptable way to respond to things and just respond the way you instinctively want to respond, the raw you?
I’m not talking about drinking excessively or beating the tar out of someone or something because you are filled with dreary despondency or explosive rage.
I’m talking about when that Voice inside you just wants to stop and give food to the beggar on the street. I’m talking about when you have this compelling feeling to go talk with that mom who looks like she is hanging on by a thread at the grocery store at 7:00 in the morning. I’m talking about when you want to run circles around the parking lot because you feel celebratory.
I think we sometimes think too highly of ourselves and that our desire to keep that image a certain way gets in the way. King David didn’t even think himself too cool to leap and danceIt’s like the middle school kid who thinks he’s too cool for school, but the adult version.
Sometimes I’ve thought, “I’m too ____ (insert all sorts of excuses) to talk to that homeless woman…don’t want people to think I’m weird.”
Oh! Come onnnn, Lydia!!! Get over yourself! A few things retrospective “me” has to say about my thought process.
1. Weird? What are we in, 7th grade?? You think people will think you’re “weird,” when people watching are more likely thinking, “Man, I wish I had the guts to stop and talk to her…that girl has a big heart”
2. You can talk to a highly educated intellectual for hours but you can’t even say one word to that homeless woman? Shame on you. We each have our comfort zones or comfort sub-populations.
3. Why why why is it that I sometimes care more about what complete strangers think of me than those closest to me?
When compassion fills our hearts, when celebratory feelings well up inside of us, we need to allow our bodies and souls to forget ourselves for a moment and override that default reaction inside of us to downplay those feelings when we realize we might look foolish to onlookers. Forget yourself for a moment and don’t think of cultural expectations and norms. Be counter-cultural in how you relate with people because that is what Christ calls us to. Like Nathaniel, Ethan and Abigail, we need to let those feelings that are divinely given overwhelm our bodies and faces so that the people around us see and experience those glimpses of God.
“It was before the LORD, who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me as princef over Israel, the people of the LORD—and I will celebrate before the LORD. 22I will make myself yet more contemptible than this, and I will be abased in yourg eyes.