Thursday, January 09, 2014

Snack By Faith, Not By Sight

It was one of those things we always took for granted when we were kids.

It was never a question of territory, permission, or if it was acceptable.

We just did it.

We raided fridges.

Our own. Our friends'. Sometimes in the homes of perfect strangers when our parents would drag us off to a dinner party featuring sandwiches or casseroles of questionable origin (meaning: green vegetables).

And the adults - for the most part - never questioned it. We were never denied access or what we sought. We were met with kind smiles, comments of "Of course you can eat that," and a feeling like we were welcomed. Free.

I'm not sure when it began to change. Puberty, when we all started to become a little more self-aware and self-conscious? High school, when hoards of free-range teenage boys pillaging the contents of a refrigerator not your own was seen as less cute and more rude? College, when we left our places of origin to forge our identities and returned home as someone slightly different and out of phase with the world we left?

I remember the first time I felt uneasy about going into my own parents' fridge to just...grab something to eat. I was in my early 20s, and the fantasy of self-replicating money coming from a bottomless source had died off thanks to my being out of college and paying my own way. Suddenly, those infinite sodas or numerous bags of chips had a cost associated with them. Not that I miserly doled out each Ramen noodle I consumed in my own apartment, but I knew. I knew there was something different about what I had always felt was freedom.

And it was less of a shift in my wallet than it was in my heart.

This. This was not my house any more. It was my parents' house. As such, there were rules, etiquette, and niceties to follow. Rules I imposed upon myself, because I seriously doubt there would ever have been a time when my mom or dad would have turned me away.

I look now at my own kids, one of whom has no issue with walking up to my fridge, grandma's fridge, the kid down the street's fridge and asking for something, and the younger one, who - once he starts walking & talking - is going to undoubtedly parrot what he sees his older brother doing. I love that they feel that freedom, that welcomeness, that openness that speaks love into them (and their stomachs).

But I also know that one day, it will change.

And like me, it will mostly be from rules they impose upon themselves.

But sadly, also from rules others deem they should follow.

Because these rules don't just apply to life, but also to faith.

...

It was one of those things we always took for granted when we were younger.

It was never a question of territory, permission, or if it was acceptable.

We just did it.

We raided God's fridge.

And He never questioned it. We were never denied access or what we sought. We were met with a sensation of a kind smile in our heart, the Spirit gently whispering "Of course you can eat that," and a feeling like we were welcomed. Free.

I'm not sure when it began to change. Puberty, when a child-like faith seemed more a social liability than a calling of the heart? High school, when questions and doubt were often met with scorn from the same adults who were supposed to lead us? College, when it was time to "grow up," put away childish things, and learn to act under rules that highlighted and preferred maintaining the perceived norm and less on passion?

I am still uneasy about going before God to just...ask. To just seek. Sometimes to just be.

And it's more due to a shift in my heart than it is in heaven.

Because there are - clearly - rules, etiquette, and niceties to follow. Rules I imposed upon myself or have allowed others to impose upon me, because I seriously doubt there could ever have been a time when God would have or will turn me away.

And it's not as if I approach in an attitude of arrogance in my asking that some feel they are entitled to under the "rightness" of "just pray for healing and God will heal," or "just ask for a burden to be lifted and God will take it away," or "if you have enough faith/name-and-claim/whatever you ask in Jesus' name." It's that I feel unworthy at times - from sin, from thinking there is more I must do or say - and that the door must remain shut and to never know if that little light inside will be on should I open the door or not.

I forget. I simply forget that I have free access to God's fridge.

To fellowship and communion. To worship as it speaks to me. To love others as I am loved, with no fear, judgment, conditions ("hate the sin, love the sinner"), or question. To ask for wisdom in struggles if freedom is not to be immediately granted.

To a life that can be - and should be - more than what I allow it at times.

I need to hold to this promise when I feel I am unworthy. I have to learn to demonstrate to my kids what love and freedom look like.

I simply need to grab the handle and pull.

2 comments:

Bethany Suckrow said...

Goodness I love your imagery here, friend. So good for my heart today. <3

Carol H. Rives said...

One word ~ EXCELLENT!