I was on my knees on the living room floor, rustling – maybe wrestling – attempting at the very least, to gather my daughter’s dodging, then limping, then straightening, then flailing appendages and insert them into the proper aperture in her footy pajamas. My hands were moving, I was probably even talking to her, trying to convince her to cooperate; that’s usually how these daily affairs go. But despite my bodies physical response to the event, I wasn’t present.
Then She said it.
The best way I can explain what happened is: sssshhhhhhffffffwwt
OK, you’ll have to read that sentence again, let’s imagine for a moment:
Two men fighting in a hallway. An intruder and an…Intrudee. The Intruder is, of course, dressed in all black, with a ski mask on. The Intrudee – plaid pajama pants and a white t-shirt. Intruder punches Intrudee, a square connection to the jaw bone. The hit sends the opposite side of Intrudee’s face into a family portrait hanging on the wall. Glass splashes from the wall. Intrudee’s right ear ringing – screaming from the crescendo it just experienced, is more disorienting than the bone cracking and face slashing. the confusion is gone in a blink; the endorphins released from the hit bring a surging tide of strength as Intrudee grabs Intruder instinctively by the neck/collar/face mask – one, or all of those – and performs the second half of a Shot Put – flinging Intruder through the window at the end of the hallway. The vinyl window frame folds and snaps as the window almost seems to absorb, but then relents and releases Intruder onto the patio roof below. The slight slope of the patio is generous to Intruder and levies only two roles before allowing him to claw and dig in to the asphalt shingles, shedding and spraying granules every direction. Intruder kicks off a section of gutter as he springs to his feet; just in time to look up at the raging home-owner jumping out of the window, clearly intent on personally escorting Intruder the rest of the way off of his property. Like he was a spring loaded action figure, Intruder flips a knife from (apparently) a sheath on the small of his back. As Intrudee descends upon the unwelcome solicitor, it’s too late to avert. The blade finds an easy entrance as Intrudee grabs Intruder by his favorite spot; this time it’s definitely the neck. They turn once in the air, Intrudee with a firm, two-handed grip on Intruder; Intruder has lost his grip on the knife and is now in full flailing mode. They hit the water with a surprisingly flat, smacking tone. The water, just as you’d imagine, inks instantly, seemingly black in the low light. The battle subsurface is short lived; the Intrudee knew that the pool awaited below, while the Intruder, conversely, unaware of the impending water submersion, hadn’t gasped oxygen before the plunge. The flailing lasts momentarily, but is quickly resigned. As the already quiet underwater battle becomes silent, Intrudee releases his vise and lifts his arms to swim toward the dim, very dim, even dimmer -“wait why is it getting dar” he thinks as he loses consciousness. All Black. Silent.
sssshhhhhhffffffwwttt, Intrudee is pullled through a vortex of light as Stranger grips him by his water soaked, blood stained shirt and ejects him from his unconscious state.
Alright, did that work? do you have the audio effect in your head? ready for that sentence again? Here we go, back to the true life story:
Then She said it; “Daddy, do you want to make baweebe?”
The best way I can explain my response is: sssshhhhhhffffffwwt
I was so preoccupied by thoughts: ‘How am I going to pay rent?’ ‘Was shutting down the shop a good idea?’ ‘When is this ‘curve’ going to flatten and life normalize?’ ‘Is life actually going to normalize?’ ‘Should I start looking for work?’ ‘What kind of work should I do?’, then, the shame: ‘I should have had more money saved.’, ‘I should have been spending more time looking for jobs, listening to those podcasts that I subscribed to, reading those emails, blogs, books…’
“Daddy, do you want to make baweebe?”
“Yes baby, I want to make believe.”
Tears welled up instantly, just like they are now.
Did she know? Is there actually any way that this tiny little not even 3 year old could possibly feel the weight I was carrying behind my zoned out eyes? I don’t know. But I swear there was something deeper in that sentence than a restless toddler.
And because of that sentence: this.
I have written more, played more, walked more; I have started photographing, content creating, clothing campaigning, coding – actually pursuing the creative things that feed my soul – because of “do you want to make baweebe?”.
This week, the message I keep getting from so many different sources, in so many different ways, is that I am loved. I’m loved. The message is clear: God is my Heavenly Father, and he loves me. no prerequisites, no requirements. He just loves me. And he wants me to know it; to feel it. And I have. I hope that you get that message this week too – because it’s true. Because when we live out of this understanding, we can know that we are creators, it’s in our very make up. It’s our first and greatest vocation. Before anything else, we were created to create. When we act in our creative nature to dream and to draw out from these deep wells within us, it allows for life to begin.
So I’ll pass on the question to you: do YOU want to make believe?
Now more than ever before, we need new life. The world needs your dreams. Spring is coming, the earth is going to bud and grow, it’s had unprecedented time to breathe, and those things that are inside of you, that have been held back, neglected, hidden because of business and life; they need to grow. Take all of the dead foliage away; reveal the green underneath, give them room to breathe, bring them out into the light and let them grow.