Tuesday, August 2, 2011
my heart is an overgrown forest.
"it smells like toads," she said - slightly out of breath in her jean capris and green tank top. she wanted to go on a run with me - i was hesitant to agree, but with some frustration, i did. her little feet slapped the pavement beside me, her large headphones bouncing around on her tiny blonde head. i noticed how much larger my strides were- her little feet had to work hard. she was a champ. (though maybe i didn't want to admit it.) she completed the Grubb Lake mile with hardly any walking. i failed to do that until last year.
i have a little shadow, a shadow i always forget about. she waits in the yard next to ours, waits for my little red car to pull in the driveway. sometimes she races over only to find out that the car belongs to andy. (or so i am told.) after a long day of work i pull in the driveway, anxiously anticipating silence, food, a run and some rest. my soul longs to be free from babysitting, to not look after children (until the next morning...) but just as i turn to roll up my window a little smiling (though perhaps a tad sheepishly) face appears just inches from mine. she wants to play. she shows me her tennis racket. (i told her the day before that she could not come play tennis with me because i didn't have an extra racket for her...) i tell her that although i do not have to babysit again, i do need to go on a run. (thinking for sure the alibi is enough to explain to her that i am too busy...) i walk inside saying, "maybe tomorrow..." (feeling a tad bit guilty for refusing her again, dangit.) i settled down to check the blog i am keeping with friends and soon i hear a gentle knock on the door. standing to my right smiling is my little Lexi shadow holding her chucks in small hands. i open the door hesitantly. (and with a sigh, if i am honest.) "i can go running with you! i ran 3 miles before!" she says with far too much excitement for me to handle. i try to convince her otherwise, try to make the hills at Grubb Lake sound menacing...i have no success. soon enough we are both jogging down the road towards Grubb Lake.
a child's admiration is a difficult thing for me to hold. maybe it's pride and selfishness, but sometimes it makes me feel so trapped. this little shadow often shoots guilt through my veins. if i did not spend all day (most days) with people half my age, perhaps i would have more energy (and desire) to invest in her - but alas, normally an almost ten year old is one of the last people i want to spend time with. but what if this is my last summer home for quite some time? what if i am supposed to be spending more time with her? what if she is here to teach me more about love, patience, and sacrifice?
we passed this sign while hiking in colorado. i forgot that forest need to be thinned out in order for everything to grow properly.
my heart is an overgrown forest.
it needs a fire not every 50 years, but every day. a multitude of weeds eat up sunlight in my soul. that which is good and beautiful is choked out. the cactus of 'what does everyone think of me' is running rampant. the thistles of what the future holds trip my feet while the dandelions of pride and selfishness keep me from loving others. (keep me from loving little shadows next door.) i need God to burn away everything that is choking him out, everything that is keeping me from loving everything within the ecosystem that i find myself.