The Unbridled Joy of a Child
By Lisa Logan
A few weeks ago I went to visit my parents in my hometown. The nostalgia of being back in the place where I grew up pressed on me to dig out some tapes from my childhood. After much scrambling to find them in the dusty basement, I finally found them and turned on the one named “Summer of 1993”. I immediately saw my 3-year old self frolicking in the green grass of that summer day. I had no care in the world as climbed up and down the steps of the playground.
I seemed to delight in the slightest of joys; my grandmother dancing with me in the living room, my brother play fighting with me, my dad making silly noises and my mom teaching me to ride a tricycle. I loved freely and trusted those around me without apprehension. I was free to enjoy life and take joy in day-to-day life.
Like most little children, I was loving, vulnerable, trusting, forgiving and full of questions. While watching the tape, I became lost in thought, wondering where that little girl had gone. The pains and trials over the years seemed to have hindered my ability to love, forgive and joy freely. The sadness and nostalgia for this inner child seemed to grow as I watched the video reel.
In that moment the Father spoke to my heart:
“My dear child, you look upon your face of you as a little girl and your heart feels sadness. Sadness because you see such innocence and a joy that can only come from a heart that trusts in the love that surrounds her. You see a laughter, an unbridled joy, and a heart that forgives the slightest hurt. My dear one, you feel as though this innocence has been lost because of life’s hurt and pains and you ask where has she gone. You do not see her because your trials and memories have blurred your vision. But my dear one, she is not lost. I see her when I look at you and I delight in the love that flows from your heart. You desire to be that little girl again and so I am restoring the love of a child to you now. You will experience the kind of love that jumps at the slightest joy. Do you perceive it? The years of laying in the dust have been washed away by my precious blood that was shed on the cross for you. It is because of My cross that you can be a child again. A child that runs and leaps into her Father’s arms. But my dear one, your love will also be deeper now than that of a little girl. A love that survives through the toughest storm and while you journey, I will teach you about my love that fiercely delights and joys in you so that you may share it with those around you. I love you.”
Sister, the Father is saying this to each one of us. Teaching us about his love. A love that brings deep security, peace, and the joy that comes from truly belonging to someone. To become like children again we must open our hearts to vulnerability, trust and openness, like a child in the care of her daddy. When we walk in the daughter/father relationship that he offers us, we will be able to fully embrace a childlike relationship with him—a relationship that is not immature—but one in which we can be a child secure in the arms of her loving Father.
Father—because that’s what you are, you’re my heavenly father—thank you for loving me, caring for me, wanting to be with me. Thank you for pursuing me the way a parent pursues a relationship with a child. Help me to remember this every day. To remember that I have you, that it’s not just me out here doing life on my own. And thank you that you’re not distant from me, but that you are right here with me all the time.