What Children Know: What it Means to Truly Live
A few frail drops of rain fall and I sit at the breakfast table, wondering.
My New Testament reading this morning is on the Year of Jubilee and I am thinking of freedom. I am thinking of a broken figure in a hospital bed—one of the patients in the hospital where I work—held prisoner by a body that once was taken for granted.
I am thinking of brave words uttered from cracked lips, of a story telling long torment in an able body, of abuse and addiction, and how his eyes are opened now. I am thinking about what it takes to realize the gifts we are given each day of our life.
Do you feel like giving up?
It is something I have to ask, part of my job as a therapist.
Do you want to live?
I stare out my window and I ask myself this question:
What does it mean to truly live?
To feel each passing moment in my marrow, detect the pull of gravity on my spirit—measure each turn of the earth with outstretched arms? How can I hear a moment call for calm solitude? How to be present in each heartbeat and feel each wisp of breath travel through my nose—move through my body as it is carries life into my unknown places?
Today, I need a map. I am lost—all turned about in this thing I call living.
Yesterday, I asked my two boys, “What if today is the best day of your life and you miss it? What if you miss it because you are thinking about tomorrow? Or the next day?”
We were taking our dog, Bonnie, on her evening walk—our constitutional these autumn days. We missed our promise earlier, so we were walking in the dark—light from neighbors’ windows peeking out at us.
Their moon-faces and shadow-mouths shone bright and under cover of night the tide of their laughter swept over me and I knew. I knew they never would miss the best day of their life.
Children have a way of catching joy and carrying it out into their every day—into their walking around life.
Why don’t I?
The Year of Jubilee came after seven years of Sabbaths. Seven times seven years. In the fiftieth year, liberty is proclaimed. Debts were cancelled; land returned to its original owner, countrymen who were slaves were freed…
I know that Jesus is our Jubilee. He came to set the captives free.
But there are no answers for lost days here. Only questions. These empty eyes, these silent muscles do not know about the arcana of Jubilee. What do we miss in our grown-up lives while we wait for the promised freedom.
Isn’t there freedom now? In each moment, if only I choose to see?
I pray for faith like a child. I pray for eyes to see the holy in each moment.
And the Name, whispered, fills the room.
I feel each passing moment in my marrow; detect the pull of gravity on my spirit—stretch arms to feel the earth turning. I hear this moment call to me—it whispers all that is required. Each heartbeat ticks the seconds, each wisp of breath breathes life.
Do you want to live?
The Jubilee is inside of me. Sometimes I give it away.
Photo of Laura by Fall Meadow Photography.
Author of the newly-released Playdates with God: Having a Childlike Faith in a Grown-up World, Laura Boggess lives in a little valley in West Virginia with her husband and two sons. She is a content editor for TheHighCalling.org and blogs at lauraboggess.com. Connect with Laura on Facebook and Twitter.