A few years ago, Scott and I took the girls on their first snorkeling trip. We landlubbers were overwhelmed by two things:
1 – The beauty of this whole underworld, hidden beneath the cover of water.
2 – The magnitude of the ocean, compared to the smallness of us. We were so overcome with the enormity that occasionally, we would pop our heads out of the water, flustered, so we could find the familiar sky. We’d spin around — bug-eyed with our goggles — trying to find each other. The ocean’s grandeur was just too much for us.
But, then, we couldn’t help ourselves. We had to go back for more. One by one, we’d face-plant ourselves back in the ocean. Our eyes were wide to the wonder, this underworld metallic with the glory of God. Light shafted itself through the water, illuminating silvery fish, humps of coral, deep ravines.
This had become more than a side-trip on our tropical vacation. This was a holy encounter, a brush with the sacred, a playdate with God.
Playdates with God
Sure, we can imagine God as Comforter or Savior, as Healer or Protector. Perhaps we can even imagine crawling up on the Father’s lap, where He’ll wrap His strong arms around our weary spirits. But can we imagine God as playmate? Can we imagine Him as the Father who tosses His child with joy into the air? Or as a God who whispers, “Come here. Look below, to places you’ve never seen before. I have something to show you.“
Perhaps, we can play with the Prince of Peace. We can laugh with the Lion of Judah. And we can explore the playfulness of God, even in the mundane days, long after the snorkels are packed away.
Deeper intimacy is found with the Father right here, on the playground of His creative world. It all hints at heaven.
We perhaps need to look no farther than our own back yard to find the burning bushes, aflame with glory.
Want to find God today?
Play in the sandbox. Get your shoes dirty. Volunteer to be “it” in a game of Hide and Seek. Pretend with Polly Pockets. Be ruthless with snowballs. Go for a walk, and take the long way home. Walk a pretend tightrope through the forest. Close your eyes, and sling-shot yourself to the moon. Stand still, as the sun rises, a halo. And hear the opening notes of the song of the day, awakening.
Loosen yourself from the lists, and tumble straight into the lap of God.
Maybe this is why children were always trying to get nearer to Jesus. God is not boring.
Our world is a vast and magical playground of jumping dolphins, spray-blowing whales, frolicking baby deer. It’s a world of iridescent crystal spires of ice, cloud-spotted skies, lemony leaves on autumn trees, fields turning themselves rusty before harvest. It seems that God is saying to us: Did you see what I made for you? Don’t miss this.
So brilliant, this God. So utterly and achingly brilliant, to make a world like this. To hint at heaven, cramming beauty into the here-below.
The Bible says to have a child-like faith. I’m only beginning to scratch the depths of what that might mean for me.
Your turn: Tell us how you’ve experienced the playfulness of God.
(UPDATE: Thank you to the #TellHisStory linkup community for your patience as I wrote this post, just this morning. I was unable to write last night due to a difficult day.)
This post was inspired by a book, Playdates with God: Having a Childlike Faith in a Grownup World, written by my dear friend Laura Boggess. The book released this week! In it, Laura opens our eyes to a God of joy, of delight … and of playfulness. Playdates with God is a thoughtful and lyrical exploration of what it means to fall in love with God all over again–and to stay in love. Highly recommended!
So, what’s your Story?
A #TellHisStory is any story that connects your story into the story of God.
You’re invited to tell that story right here, in community with us.
Share your narratives, your poems, your Instagrams tagged with #TellHisStory, … your beautiful hearts. You are the chroniclers, the people who help others make sense of the world with your words and your art.
Story is how we know that, no matter what happens, we can get back up again.
Visit someone (or two) in the link-up to encourage with a comment. Then, Tweet about your posts, and the posts you visit, with the #TellHisStory hashtag. Come back on Friday to visit our Featured #TellHisStory, in the sidebar.
A final note: This is a safe place to tell your stories. You don’t have to be a professional writer to join us. Story is built into every single one of us. Your story matters, because it’s part of God’s story down through history, not because you punctuated everything correctly. Deal?
For more details on the #TellHisStory linkup, click here. Share the love of story by visiting someone else in the community!