I used to have a strange obsession with stuffed animals. In fact, I would have a new stuffed animal to drag around ever so often, and s/he would be my constant companion. Whether it was at home, in class, or even outdoors during lunch and recess, I always had an animal in tow. But honestly, I was a bit of a freak so it makes sense now why I didn’t have many friends as a kid. Anyway, those were the only friends I ever had, and I really did believe this to be true.
One day in the middle of a sweltering summer, I was skipping along to class with my Christmas reindeer bouncing besides me. I had gotten that thing when I was an infant from my grandmother, so it also had sentimental value. It was made of cheap plastic material that reminded me of a raincoat, and it was so old that it wasn’t even considered plush anymore, but just a floppy half-hearted excuse for a stuffed animal. I was holding its little black hoof when suddenly, I felt my whole body jerk downwards and immediately, I screamed in angst. Gripped between my small dark fingers was a lone hoof. Without a body attached. Before even looking for the culprit and investigating my murdered pal, I widened my eyes and screeched towards the sky, tears spurting out violently in between spastic sobs.
That was one of the first occasions where I punched a boy. All the students crowding around the crime scene were snickering, pointing at the floating pieces of cotton in glee. It was a devastating day for me, and I went home absolutely mortified. I remember crying and crying, not being able to sleep in the midst of my mourning. But when I woke up the next day, that ragged reindeer sat nonchalantly by my head, and I was overjoyed. My mother had taken the time to sew the arm back onto the body, and she informed me that he had to go into surgery, but everything worked out fine. My friend was ready to function again, and I was so grateful that someone was on my side, that someone believed what I believed.
I know quite a lot of people who seem to be desperately seeking the truth and the “reality” of things at all times. For someone in pain, the “reality” may be that this too shall pass and they need to just get back on the horse because this is life. For someone who experiences God in a supernatural way, the “reality” is that it’s temporary and is immediately labeled a “retreat-high.” For a child who wants his or her parents to participate in their dreams and play a part in it, I’ve seen the “reality check” where they’re told no, that their dreams are too far-fetched. Whether adult or child, we experience this all the time. You may even have a friend who is always the “realist,” who thinks anything is too good to be true.
I think this can be such a downer, and just like that little jerk who killed my Christmas reindeer, someone will always try to yank you down, calling it “reality.” But the “reality” of the Love who surrounds us is actually not realistic at all. We can be the most strange and kooky people with the craziest iniquities, but He loves us, and He still redeems us. He still makes crazy and surreal things happen in our lives, He is constantly forming and molding our spirits, and He is always involved with the dreams in the day, in sleep, in our minds. God is that totally cool dad who wants to do everything with you, and make everything happen for you.
Then I saw this video, and it’s the perfect depiction of our Father’s love.
I sometimes blush when I read the Bible, and need to put it down. This isn’t because I’m reading Songs of Solomon, but it’s because sometimes the love that is portrayed through the words of God is almost too much, and I feel like I’m in some Shakespearean era, or some sort of fairytale. I believe life can be a fairytale. Because fairytales are not “realistic” at all, and God is totally beyond realistic understanding.
So I’d like for you to reflect, and take some time to think about whether your heart has hardened. Perhaps you’ve let the “reality” of situations make you tough and cold, and perhaps you’re trying to prove something to make up for the past. I still have a difficult time accepting the crazy love God has for me, and I hear the voice of the cynic pouring out of me at times. But LOVE really does surpass possibilities, the coulda-woulda-shouldas, and you need to simply let it take you high and above the doubt and skepticism of human comprehension.
Think you can believe that reality and fantasy are two of the same?