Behind me on my bicycle she sings.
“The sun is glory…in the sky…a butterfly…”
Straining to make out her words, I turn around and see her little arms fully extended skyward and her hair being blown back by the the downhill breeze. I have successfully introduced her to freedom.
“Whatcha singin’ ’bout, Addie?”
“I’m just singin’. It’s not for you, Mama.”
Later, the tables turn as she bids me to follow behind her. Into the cold sprinkle of a playground pool I go briefly and half-hearted. My grimacing face gives me away and I quickly retire to spectate and “supervise” instead. Her sisters fill my shoes for the time being and I miss it.
On the morrow I pull overgrown weeds from my neglected flower garden and begin to recall the events of our yesterday. I think of how oft I call others to follow me to a place of freedom and worship but how rarely I’m willing to follow them into a place of sacrifice and swimming. Where is my willingness to be momentarily cold while I wholly engage in the realness of their world? Because that’s where discipleship and camaraderie happens.
I’ve taught Addie a lot about worship from books, but it’s the act of taking her to the place where I myself often meet God that she saw him. Her joy can’t be complete with a “supervisor” though. She wants a sister to come along – especially when it’s cold.
After an hour’s work, I can see my flowers again. The weeds had all but choked them out. My hands and feet were dreadfully dirty and a few of the flowers had come up with the weeds by accident. There is a price to pruning – for me and for the flowers. There is sacrifice in true cultivation – be it with sunflowers or with souls. Truly beautiful hands and feet are bound to get dreadfully dirty.
Showing brothers and sisters how to sing is one thing; sharing sacrificially in their swim is where mutual growth takes place, though.
God, remind me that if I am your disciple, I am automatically disqualified from being a supervisor. Make me a sacrificial sister instead.
How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? 15 And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!” ~Romans 10:14-16