I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my eye upon you.
Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding,
which must be curbed with bit and bridle,
or it will not stay near you.
This passage from Psalm 32 kept flashing before me as I watched this video of my granddaughter Arabelle leading a horse for the first time.
I see a horse for whom, at this moment, a bit and bridle seem to be a technicality. Arabelle isn’t having to exert force to control or direct Shuga. The horse is simply keen to her presence and movement. I believe this is what the psalm has in mind. I want to go to there. I want to be keen to the Divine presence and movements when it comes to Life, to Love, to God. How often I’m just a runaway horse stampeded by the press of life, panic in my eyes, nostrils flaring.
And then, to see myself in the horse (or in the horse’s rear), is to see God in Arabelle.
That was quite the startling image to me.
The majestic Divine, the pulsating center of all existence, the cosmic energy holding all things together, the consuming fire, seraphs and cherubim covering their faces, the foundations of the earth quaking before the God who smokes…
Perhaps this is why we must become as little children to enter the kingdom of heaven.
It simply isn’t an adult place.
It is space for wonder, a place to be enraptured.
The playfulness of God doesn’t make it into most theology texts. It’s not in any ancient catechism or confession of which I am aware. But perhaps all other divine attributes about which we might muse are but satellites in orbit around it.
There is little I won’t do for Arabelle. At least now. (Although I still won’t let her little fingers mess up my latest game of Bejeweled Blitz on my iPad. There are limits, people.)
But to see such playfulness at the very heart of God, at the very heart of reality. To see it at the center of the creation story in Genesis. To see it in the carefree face of Jesus as he went about doing good in his kingdom play, totally flaunting all the adult rules. It’s captivating, contagious. Like Shuga, I find myself instinctively drawn to watch the Child moving just before me, and to enter into Her rhythms at Her pace.
Perhaps this was the trouble with Adam and Eve in that garden.
They were created just a bit too old.