What I Learned From Playtime

Dear Lewis,

Recently you’ve begun to do something that fills my heart with more joy than it’s ever known: you play with me. For a month or two you’ve seemed to recognize my voice. But now you actually sit and play with me, crawling over me, swatting at my hands, even laughing and smiling when we play peek-a-boo.

I find myself doing ridiculous things to entertain and interact with you. I make strange faces, funny noises, and, my favorite, crawl toward you like an army man. I speak in oscillating tones, repeat phrases over and over again, and slap my hands against the ground just like you.

We roll around together, crawl toward mommy together, and even sometimes take naps together. Playing with you is exhausting, but never boring. Sometimes I can’t believe the stuff I do, the sounds I make, and especially the funny positions I find myself in when playing with you.

But I love every second of it.

This evening while on my stomach, throwing stuffed animals and plastic balls at you, trilling my lips, and moving my neck in circles, your mom said, “You two are a mess. You’re crazy, Lewis! Your daddy must love you.”

She’s right. I do love you. I love every second of acting undignified and un-adult because of how you react.

It’s the only way I can get you to react.

Lewis, when your mama said, “Your daddy must love you,” I couldn’t help but think of God’s love for us. In the same way that I talk on your level and act in ways that I know you’ll respond to, God communicates and interacts with us.

All I do is resort to acting like I did when I was a child. In Jesus, God emptied himself of his divinity, and became something all together different. The difference between me crawling on my belly and God walking the earth is indescribable.

But He did. Because He loves us. Jesus loved us enough to take on a form and act in a manner we could recognize, to speak in ways –  in stories – we could understand, and loved people exactly how they needed to be loved.

I don’t think Jesus felt humiliated for a second when he stooped to our level.

There’s a vast difference between humbling yourself and humiliating yourself.

I treasure every moment I spend crawling around with you, contorting my face in order to make a smile appear on yours, and releasing screeching noises in hopes you’ll respond in kind. There’s nothing humiliating about it.

Lewis, don’t ever think God isn’t willing to do the same thing. Throughout your life you will sense God speaking to you in ways only you understand, or in ways that only mean something to you. He may bang against the ocean shore, He may shout at you in your pain – as your namesake, C.S. Lewis, would say – or He might simply lead you beside still waters to restore your soul.

Whatever He does I hope you know He does it willingly. He does it because He loves you. Because He wants you to interact with him. Because He wants you to play with him.

I love you, Lewis. I’ll see you tomorrow. On the floor.

– Dad

Do you believe the God who spoke the universe into existence wants to speak to you? 

In what unique, personal way does God communicate with you?

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photo credit: Kalexanderson via photopin cc

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