"Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like you've never been hurt; and live like it's heaven on Earth." (Mark Twain)
I love watching kids play. Before the world comes in and them they have to be serious about life. Before they are hurt or betrayed for being who they are. They have a freedom and an innocence about them that I often wish I still had.
A freedom because no one has told them they have to look or act or be a certain way. An innocence because no one has betrayed them or wounded them deeply yet.
They naturally do what Twain says in the quote I opened with. They dance, sing, love with nothing to hold them back.
When I see that, I want more of that in my life. I long to be able to go back to that time in my life. It seems like a much easier way to live.
Instead, I hesitate to dance because someone else is watching and I don't want them to judge me because of how I look when I dance. I sing softly and only when no one else is around, because I've compared myself to others and decided I'm not good enough. I struggle to love precisely because I've been hurt by people I've loved. I hold myself back from fully living because I know the pain of this world.
And I judge other adults who don't seem to be confined like I am. I long for the freedom and innocence of a child in my own life; while at the same time, I judge others who seem to have found it as adults.
The unfortunate reality of living in a fallen world. Of living in a world where things don't always go as they should. A world with pain, betrayal, shame, loneliness, fear.
The Good News in all of this is that we can get to living in freedom. God has provided a way for that to happen again. And it is what He desires for us to experience.
We can take the pain, betrayal, shame, loneliness, fear, and anything else we struggle with to Him and He will take from us if we let Him. In it's place, He offers us unconditional love, grace, and acceptance.
He lifts the heavy burdens we have been carrying. He breaks the chains that have held us back. He opens prison doors that have kept us contained. He speaks the truth to heal our woundedness.
Our part is to come to Him. We have to take those things to Him and let them go. To allow Him to touch those broken and hurting places so He can heal them.
It's not always easy to do this. But it's always worth it.
Then we can walk away with the freedom and innocence of a child again. We can begin to:
"Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one is listening. Love like we've never been hurt; and live like heaven is on Earth." (Mark Twain)