Raising Magnolias

Because it's never too late for happily ever after…

Captivated (re-post from theselittlelights)

This guy had the brightest smile that I had ever seen. And the whitest teeth. And somehow as he preached you could see them. All of them. His smile was that big. He had this way of looking right at you as if you were the only person in the room. I was fascinated by this man. I was captivated.

And, as it turns out, that’s what he wanted. He was preaching from the book of Mark about the friends who brought the paralytic through the roof to see Jesus. He challenged us. Are we still captivated by the stories of Jesus or have we forgotten that it’s kind of a big deal to make the lame walk and the blind to see. Come on! He calmed a storm. He walked on water. He freakin’ rose from the dead and this preacher is right. Am I still captivated by Jesus?

Or am I just held captive by circumstances and people and thoughts and fear?

And my children? Am I captivated by them? I love them; adore them; cherish them, but am I captivated?

After reading Good Night Moon 2,354 times over the past 7 years, I gotta say, I don’t get it. Is it a poem? It’s lost its magic. And The Three Bears? She ate the porridge, already. Let’s move on. And I seriously can’t explain how hard it is to feign interest in a star wars/ninja lego battle.

“Yes, that is wonderful, with the sword, oh it’s not a sword? Well, with the saber and, what his head came off? And they all died? You’re kidding. That’s wonderful, dear.”

In those brief moments, those gory, blood-filled, dead lego-men moments that string together to make a life, am I still captivated?

Some nights, I find myself, all snuggled together with little blond ones hanging on my arms trying to hold a book and scratch two itchy backs at the same time and, yes, I find myself or rather catch myself reading the words on the page while at the very same time reading the worries of my life. “Jack and Annie returned to the Magic Tree House and to their very great surprise, (how am I going to pay for health care in November? Where are we going to live in November?) there was a Dinasoaur waiting at the end of the path, (and how am I going to provide for my children?) but the Dinasoaur was a plant eater so Annie became his friend, (and how could their mom have been such an idiot?) and the Dinasours didn’t eat them and they all lived happily ever after.”

I read, but I am not captivated. I am lost. My thoughts wander. And am I equally disturbed and amazed at my ability to do this.

But then we had a play date. A new friend. She hadn’t been in the car 30 seconds when she started talking.“Those are our neighbors. She’s my friend. Sometimes I go play with them, but only when my mom says it’s okay. One day I went over there by myself, but my Dad said, “where in the world did that little girl go?’ And then they came to get me. My room is pink. I love pink. Pink is my favorite color. Is pink your favorite color? Wow. Look at that. That machine is pink. Emma Claire, do you like pink? What’s your address? Mine is 1234 Maple road. Is this your house, Emma Claire? I like your house. Is your room pink? Let’s make cupcakes. Can I take one for my mom? Oh and my dad, too? He is at his work.”

She was captivating.

All morning she and Emma Claire played house and dress-up and they held hands and they hugged and we were blessed and there was joy in this house and I was captivated.Captivated by two little girls whose smiles, much like that pastor, just radiated and whose giggles echoed though out the house.

“I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt.18:3 NIV)

I’ve always thought this verse meant that to enter the kingdom of heaven we needed to trust the way a child trusts. I don’t know, maybe I was taught that or maybe, in all of my theological wisdom, I just made it up. But after hearing smiley-man’s sermon, I now wonder if Jesus is talking about being captivated. Being in awe of Jesus the same way that our special friend was in awe of that pink machine. To be captivated by our children and their books and their toys and, oh my gosh, even the lego battles and the great big room with the red balloon.

And I’m starting to feel it. I will not be held captive. Not by him; not by my thoughts. I will be captivated. By Jesus; by my children; by this blessed life. I will be captivated and I will smile like preacher-man.

But first, I will go to Sephora. Because while I can’t find the exact verse, I’m sure that even Jesus knows a pretty smile; a captivating smile, needs new lipstick. And yes, pink is my favorite color, too.

 

 

 

 

 

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