Last week Salome' invited every willing sibling into her space shuttle under the kitchen table for the afternoon's first adventure. "To the moon!" she ordered her faithful make-believe shuttle, which offered ample room, natural pine knots for knobs and no animal or snack restrictions. The smooth take-off only rattled my coffee cup and saucer, which sat proudly on the surface as an appropriate hood ornament. The phrase. "If walls could talk..." would not surprise a child in this house, as every piece of furniture seems to have an imaginative alter ego.
This morning Malachi, in a similar mindset to his sister, propped up a marvelous toy catalogue we'd received yesterday in the mail. He gave each little sibling markers and paper while he guided the creation of tiny paper people to fit into the castle, which stood magnificently over a two page spread. "I'm sure this is too expensive for Christmas Mommy, so we can play with it just as it is in the book!" our nine year old exclaimed happily.
I marvel at the way our children use the resources at hand to experience joy in the moment. Their unfettered imaginations soar boundlessly as I watch from the sidelines, chained to the cold metal bleachers of my practical reality. Freedom lies in one place and I am humbled daily to seek to live it, it is in the childlike faith and trust of the One who is unseen who unlocks the captive soul and fuels the imagination.
Two weeks ago I embarked on my own adventure. For eight years I have sought a place called Safe Pasture. I'd read a passage in scripture, Psalm 37, which inspired me to find a piece of land where Dennis and I could build an expansive house with smaller dwellings around it where many could find refuge. As I stood on a parcel of land which from a distance could have been the very spot I'd envisioned, I felt disheartened. For under my feet the soil was uneven and rocky, while the grass was sparse and dry. As I lifted my gaze, the surrounding fence seemed to speak of trespassing rather than invitation.
The following day, while heading home from the Children's Art Museum, I glanced through my rearview mirror at our five littlest ones happily chattering in the backseat of the car. It suddenly dawned on me that Safe Pasture is not a place at all, it is we. When we pour out God's grace, and are fueled to love and live radically, we are the Safe Pasture. To soar or to rest, the daily adventure is soul to soul, not of flesh. And to dwell is to fully live in the adventure of the moment with those we love. Imagine that!