“Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, ‘Grow, Grow’” — The Talmud
A few weeks ago, we said our goodbyes to our kids and granddaughter, Molly, as they got into the car to head back to the airport. The long goodbyes, hugs, some tears, more hugs, and goodbyes. The doors closed and we watched the silver rental car head down the block . . . and then the car came to a sudden stop. Backed up quickly to our house. Tim jumped out of the car, a little panicked and said, “We forgot Taggie and the others!”
The next five minutes were a frantic search for Taggie, Binky, Tiny, and Stain (who is sometimes called Puffy). Her security blankets’ names always remind me of some tiny misfit special forces security team. You’d think as essential to her daily (and especially nightly) security as these four “friends” are to Molly, they’d be the first thing her 5-year-old mind thinks of to pack when leaving on a trip. I suppose as often as this panic formation of a search and rescue mission happens, complete with inconsolable and weeping child, that her parents (or her grandparents for that matter) would remember to make sure and pack her “Loveys.” And then I stop to wonder each time how something so important as our sense of security never seems to be so important until moments of departure or sleep. And, of course, that’s where they all were, buried beneath at the foot of her bed covers. Except for Stain, an 18″ square off -white, satin cloth with a permanent discoloration of unknown origin that forms a curious cloud-like puffy design on one corner (hence, the alternate name). We found him (“her”?) buried in the covers of our bed!
Disaster averted, we gathered up the tiny textile gang of blankets, tucked them securely in her on-board backpack, and once again said “Goodbye.”
I appreciate the need for a sense of security and the things (the stuff or the people or the ideas or the beliefs) we “carry” with us in all our comings and goings. We take it all for granted, it seems, until we don’t. Maybe something shakes our inner foundation, our sure footing. Maybe we are facing new phases in our life or new relationships or a change in work. Maybe we aren’t but feel we should be and that also seems too great a step to jump into.
In the Book of Acts, there is an interesting story of Paul on his travels in Athens, where he begins to teach about Jesus at the Areopagus, where a council of civic leaders gathered to hear Paul teach about Jesus. Standing in the midst of this crowd of scholars and philosophers, Paul tells them he realized Athenians were very religious, having seen their many objects of worship. But one altar among the many caught his attention. On it were inscribed the words “TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.” And he suggests to them that, in fact, God is very to known to them, though they apparently take it for granted or miss the experience entirely — that they exist and live and move and have their very being in God.
This Sunday, I continue our series on Living on Purpose as we think about being intentionally rooted in what theologian Paul Tillich calls our “ground of being.” We’ll be joined by our great band and the music of Train, Christine Kane, and Ryan Montbleau. Bring your own gang of misfit loveys and join us as we takes some leaps and trust the ground.
See you soon,