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Be Free Like Little Children

At the beach last month, Chad got some new goggles, which he put on immediately and wore around the house nowhere near water. He has made me laugh so much this summer because he is increasingly the stereotypical little boy you’d stick in a movie or a commercial…slightly goofy, entirely enthusiastic and full of wonder. Ellie, in contrast, is 8 going on 18 and yet free of all of the insecurities and fear of man that comes with teenage development. I learn from her all the time. The other day, she was putting stuff in this ugly, old grandmother looking brown purse. I made a comment about her grandma purse and she looked at me baffled (rather than shamed by my mockery) and said, “It is not a grandma purse because it is my purse and I am not a grandma.” Profound and full of freedom. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity. 1 Tim. 4:12 Why shouldn’t Chad button his shirts to the neck and tuck them in to shorts or pants pulled to his armpits? Why can’t we all wear new goggles around the house with squished eyes because they’re new we’re excited about them? Why can’t we be giddy with excitement about our new thing, even if it is small to someone else? Why do I worry that a purse looks like a grandma purse if the purse itself makes no such claims…and why I am down on grandmas? And why do I worry about this decision or that and what people may think and need so badly for them to know “Oh I am not one of those kinds of ‘x’. I am definitely the cool kind, the kind you’d admire, the kind you really would want to be.” And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” Gen. 3:11 It is my sin that brings shame to what God called very good. It is my demand to be seen like a god in the eyes of others that makes me want to hide my humanity in the fig leaves of ever shifting standards of coolness and approval. The LORD God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. Gen. 3:21 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. Gal. 3:27 You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent. LORD my God, I will praise you forever. Psalm 30:11-12 Children are not easily silenced by shame, but as we grow older we submit to its oppressive ability to shut us down. Camouflaging myself in fig leaves or the particular norms of my age and stage is not the abundant life I was designed for before sin dominated and after Jesus traded my sin for His righteousness. Jesus has freed me from my shameful estate and covered me in His righteousness and freedom. When my heart wants to send me hiding behind a tree for legitimate and silly reasons, He pulls me back out from hiding and away from accusation as He invites me to dance with joy, in my goggles and swinging my granny purse.

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