My thoughts have been full of Kevin. Full of memories. Full of grief.
He left this world on June 8th, 2019.
One year ago.
As I was processing my grief with my counselor last week, he asked me to share some Kevin memories. I immediately could picture little seven-year-old Kevin, cowlick in his hair, and sparkles in his eyes. His lisp making each word he spoke adorable.
He loved to start a sentence with "Wonder if..." and then he would go into the fanciful world of a child's imagination.
You know...things like...
"Wonder if... it keeps raining and then there is lots of water and then a wave hits my window and I reach out from my top bunk and grab an octopus and he becomes my pet..."
"Wonder if...there is a snake in the tree again and this time the snake falls out of the tree and it lands on the car and it scares Dad and and we have a car accident, but I jump out of the car and scare the snake away..."
My counselor smiled, and said he had an assignment for me. He knew I was coming to the beach to mark this sad one year anniversary, and he challenged me to sit and look at the ocean and play a childlike "wonder if" game myself. To just let my mind go.
So, on June 8th, 2020 as I came here to the beach to take time to think about Kevin's life, I sat and looked at the beauty of the ocean. My practical mind had a hard time letting my mind wander. But I tried.
"Wonder if... a tsunami wave came and I saw it coming and managed to climb up the highest palm tree (remember, I was trying not to be realistic!) and I shouted to everyone to get higher and the wave came, but because of my warning we were all high enough to be saved."
I think Kevin would have approved.
Last night I listened to an adorable nine-year-old play her own version of the game as she talked to my adult daughter. Her ideas included climbing a sycamore tree (which when she pointed to it looked a lot like a palm tree to me!) to throw a long, long rope out to lasso a fishing boat and bring it in so that she could ask questions about what they were doing.
I recently had a tea party with a little girl and to participate we had to be "all in" the story. We had to dress up, and we had to dress properly. Her Dad and his friend were not allowed because they were not entering into the spirit of the make-believe correctly. How could they think they could dine with a princess and a queen when they were in shorts and t-shirts?
The world of children is delightful. It is full of wonder. It is full of surprises. In their imagination, they are not bound by the practical.
Perhaps that is part of what Jesus is getting at when he tells the disciples to let the children come to him. He then adds "Truly I tell you, anyone who does not receive the kingdom of heaven like a little child will never enter it."
What would my life look like if I received the kingdom of heaven daily like I really believed it? What would it look like to receive it, believe it, and live it?
What if I believed every minute that the King of Kings and Lord of Lords sees me as his beloved daughter on whom he lavishes his love?
Wonder if...I would have a more royal bearing and more confidence and less insecurities?
Wonder if...I wouldn't have to live in fears of what may happen in the future because I would know that my Father, the most powerful person in the world, would take care of everything for me?
What if I believed that Jesus chose to be obedient to His Father's plan and gave His life for me because he believed I was worth rescuing?
Wonder if...remembering that every minute of the day would make me never have to wonder if I am "good enough"?
Wonder if...it would give me the freedom to never be defensive or have to prove myself?
What if I truly believed that every person was made in God's image and that God wants to pour His love out on them?
Wonder if...that would affect every single interaction every day? Even the business phone calls that I dread or the person who disagrees with me politically?
Wonder if...I would be more vocal about standing up for those who don't have a voice?
What if I believed deep down in every part of me that my dignity, strength and worth come from the Creator who has given me all that I need?
Wonder if...I would be better at knowing what boundaries to have and knowing how to spend my time?
Wonder if...I would be so secure in who I am in Christ that those around me would want to know what was different about me?
I have heard it said that the longest distance in the world is from our heads to our hearts. I know that I believe these truths in my head. But I don't live out of these beliefs every minute of the day. Somewhere in my heart, I must struggle with some of these truths. Somewhere the truth I know about me and others makes me think that the truth about God isn't quite as real. I say I believe it, but my fears and insecurities show that I am not totally resting in the truth of God's Word.
Wonder if...I could try to have a childlike faith?
Wonder if...there is so much more in life to enjoy as I let go of the rational, "adult" side of me?
Wonder if...each day could be an adventure, even when there are hard things to do or when life is messy or scary?
Wonder if...every meal could be a tea party?