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The Voyage of Childhood by Thomas Cole

 

As a child, I needed child-like things, but I didn’t usually get them. I needed spur-of-the-moment snuggles, to have my hair smoothed and my back scratched. I needed to be enjoyed. For lack of it, I decided to do what I was told, to “grow up.”

I beat my needs to a bloody mass inside of me, mercilessly pounding every juvenile thought into submission. I put on a false, heavy maturity and tried to convince myself that those things I longed for were silly and unnecessary.

But children’s games and songs prepare children to grow up. They lay firm foundations. A mother’s lullabies remind her baby that, no matter whether the bough breaks, “From the high rooftops, Down to the sea, No one’s as dear, As baby to me.” Hide-and-seek reminds little ones that gone for a moment doesn’t mean gone forever. And we begin to trust.

Most of the time I feel like an empty slip of a thing, insides dried out and hollow. If I am touched too forcefully, I crumble like the petals of a long-ago given flower. So how do I return to fullness?

Only Living Water can come and begin to soak through these parched places. These mental roads are heavy trod, following well established pathways and oft-used trails.

What I want is a flood, water falling so heavy that it washes away my crosswise routes. I think this won’t work that way — I would be overcome, sputter, cough, and drown in the too-muchness of it all. Indeed, it is the persistent drip drip drop that carves Truth into my mind.

Drip

You are my very own.

Drip

You are a treasure.

Drop

There’s more to you than this.

Liquid love cascading into my petrified places. It is gentle, but unrelenting. Love accounts for my weakness, but won’t bow to my fear.

In time, the bourns will widen into streams, streams of living water. My barren places will be transformed by the inexhaustible love, the unfathomable grace, of my Jesus.

It stops me dead, this sound of grace. Every time I hear it perch by my ear, I must stop. Listen deep. Draw in. I must believe, drop by priceless drop.

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