A little girl ran up to me and pointed me towards the book she was holding. “Look!” she said excitedly, pointing to a passage from within the Book. “I found the verse you taught me, here it is…” and then proceeded to read it to me. Seconds later her mother came with her younger brother and spoke to them, “Come on, we have to go now. Say goodbye.” She closed her Bible and waved at me. Her brother ran up and gave me a tight squeeze. He’s so tiny he only reaches my knees and had to wrap his arms around my legs, but the little man almost pushed me over when he came! His small gesture of appreciation left my heart warm all over. It came unexpectedly, and the smile I had afterwards was big enough to cover the road from Grahamstown to Tzaneen.
I love children. I totally get why Jesus said that in order to get into Heaven we have to become like them. They believe so wholeheartedly, trust so completely, and live so honestly. Even if they are manipulative, they are honest in their deception because they really know no better.
Some people, bless their souls, are “sweep-it-under-the-carpet” folks. They maintain a tradition of pretending that everything is alright when it isn’t, never speaking about the problems in the family in the name of ‘respecting elders’, and that of seeing and not hearing children. Hello to depression, because children seen and not heard put away the pain until the build-up becomes too much. Any vessel can only take so much pressure before it bursts.
I hate pretending. I tried that whole let’s pretend we’re okay thing, and to be honest, honesty is better. You see, when we are honest with ourselves and with others we open up the door for healing to take place. A physical wound cannot heal completely if it is covered up by a bandage. Anyone in the medical profession will tell you that it is better to let a wound be exposed so that the body can form scars, starting the healing process. It’s the same with what’s inside of us. Healing, then, must be preceded by surrender. I choose to surrender my pain because hanging onto it will kill me. I choose life.
Children are usually not afraid to say that they need help. They’ll fiddle with something and finally walk up to you and say, “Please open this bottle for me?” They get that without your help they won’t be able to drink their juice. They’ve taught me that doing that brings not only the help they need, but also the courage to dare further next time. I’m done with secrecy; because where secrecy is respected the darkness of depression is king. I’m done with pushing people who can help me away, because no woman is an island, anyway. And most of all I’m done with pretending I don’t need strength from those around me and from the Source of all Power, because admit it; it takes a lot of strength to admit that we’re weak.
“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” – John 8:32 (New International Version)