Sunday, June 13, 2010

Two feet

Lily and I have been pool rats lately. It is hot as hades here, and the only relief to be found is next to something blue and cool. She plays while I lay like a beached whale in the shallow end. Sam sits on my lap, floats, or snoozes in the stroller.

The other day she had friends to the pool. She watched as her friend took flying leaps from the side of the pool, arms outstretched like a bird. Her eyes took in the freedom. She smiled and laughed.

Then she decided to try it herself.

I watched as she approached the edge. She looked to me, her eyes filled with trepidation. I stood directly in front of her and looked her in the eyes.

"Don't be scared Lily. I will catch you."

"Ummmm, mama?" She bites her lip.

"Seriously, don't be scared. I'm here. Just jump. I'll catch you."

She inches away from the edge, shaking her head.

"Okay, Lily. Do you want to hold my hand while you jump?"

"Okay mama!!!"

Hilarity and splashing ensues. Over and over again she jumps, until she is just holding my finger.

"Now, just jump to me!" I yell excitedly, clapping my hands.

And instantly she is filled with worry again. Rather than jump, she sits on the edge and hesitantly pushes herself in.

I shook my head, confused. Why is jumping while holding my hand better than jumping into my arms? Why can she not trust me to catch her?

And into my still mind God whispered "This is just how you trust me."

And I felt it like a punch in the gut, because it is true. I would rather have a hand to hold than to take the leap. I would rather be safe than free.

But in that space, that delicious arm waving and feet kicking space, when you are braced against the deep blue sky and the deep blue water...that is where faith is.

Faith that you will be caught, held, and your victory celebrated. Faith that something bigger is waiting beyond your belief in yourself. Faith that beyond your own reach, and beyond your fear, is one that knows better.

I have been in love with God a long long time. But I still am not free. I am in bondage to my thoughts, to my habits. I am constricted by this human skin I live in, pulled tight against my own thinking. I don't believe in the two feet between me and God. I don't believe I will be caught. My faith stops when the hand lets go.

But in those two feet, in that space and that uncertainty lies a freedom that tastes of heaven. In that space is freedom from anyone else's judgement. In that space is the existence of living for God, not paying lip service to it. In that space, my insecurities about myself, about my body and my face...all of it empties out into the depths. It floats away like ether. It drains away. I am not longer my own creature, but a creation. I am new.

In those two feet, I am His.

And I can choose it. I can set my toes on the edge, I can open my arms, I can close my eyes...and I can leap.

So I am living now in the space between. But soon....