Monday, June 25, 2012

When Wisdom Flows Down - A Beautiful Thing

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, as you sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. - Colossians 3:16

Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one's friend springs from his earnest counsel. - Proverbs 27:9

"I'd like to go canoeing this weekend, Mom," Logan says. "Do we have any other plans?"

I look at my son. My twenty-year-old man son. He's strong. He's capable. He has a heart for adventure. But after standing above ground, just a month ago, while he was pressed into the depths of an underground cave, I don't want him to go. My heart isn't hard-wired for adventure. It's hard-wired for him.

"We're unusually free," I say. "But Logan, to you have to go?"

He looks at me. He knows that I know that the river is mild. And shallow. Canoeing the Maquoketa easy recreation around here. But so are the caves. And I want him to play it safe.

"Will you wear your life vest?" I ask.

"The water's three feet deep."

"There are currents."

"We walk on sandbars."

I sip my tea and squint into the sun. The sky is cloudless. Blue. Deep and vast and clear and wide. Not at all like the tight, dark fear that claws around in my head.

"It's hard, Logan," I say. "I'm struggling with fear. I know it's irrational. But it's there."

Logan is quiet for a moment. He looks at the sky, too. Then he meets me with his gaze, straight on. It takes my breath, for a moment, how mature he's become. Stubble on his chin. Eyes that are more knowing and less full of wonder.

"Mom," he says. "I love you. And I don't want to make you worry."

That's a boy, I think. You're going to stay home. Maybe have your friends here. Go swimming in the pool.

"But if I'm afraid to live life," he continues, "if I don't do the things I want to do because of fear, I'm still stuck. I'm still stuck in that cave."

I think for a moment. I wonder if he's speaking of his fear or mine.

"And I don't want to live with those chains," he says.

He smiles. His eyes are green and warm and gentle and kind.

And then I know. The fear he's speaking of is mine. I also know that something special has happened. We're in a new place now. An iron-sharpens-iron place. An accountability place. An encouraging, strengthening, turn-me-toward-the-Lord place.

So I think about what he's said. And I let his wisdom run down. Straight down from his faith into the dark depths of my own fear.

"Thanks, Logan," I say. We're quiet for a moment. The sun is hot and the air is still. "I know you'll have fun." But there's a question stirring my soul. And before he gets up to leave, I  have to ask. "So when did you become this wise?"

My son just smiles again.

What a beautiful, beautiful thing.

1 comment:

  1. Shawnelle, this is a beautiful piece. Your writing, as always, is so heartfelt, and so "spot on." Logan is wise beyond his years. I hope this morphs into a piece for Guideposts. XO