Can We Do Like We Did? Like Before?

I spent a good majority of my evening playing a game with my daughters. We sat across the room from each other forming a triangle. Taking turns we rolled the ball across to the next person. Around the triangle this Penguins of Madagascar ball whipped across the room. Laughter infused Casa de Bedell.

Before too long, the game escilated. Rolling the ball at break neck speeds wasn’t enough. It started off with slight bouncing, then slamming the ball off living room objects.

The couch.
The ottoman.
The Vietnam missions trip keepsakes.
The wedding photos.
Sorry dear.
The pew.
Yes, the pew.
Like in a ‘real’ church pew.
You name it, the penguins tagged it.

I knew what was about to happen. I watched it happen slowly, but knew it before the game even began. I didn’t vocalize it. I hoped it wouldn’t get to this point. But, deep within my gut I knew it was inevitably going to happen.

We crossed the line.
It went too far.
Tears were shed and they began to fight.
An epic 4 and 2 year old fight.
One to write home about.

Finally reaching a cooling off point from time out, they voluntarily hugged, gave a kiss, said they loved the other, and turned to me…

“Um, daddy… can we do like we did? Like before?”

“Yeah girls. Let’s play” I said on the outside.
On the inside almost simultaneously- through anguish, “Dear God, I just want to do like I did. Like before.”

In my prayers, I want to just be like before and innocently love You.
In my reading, I want to simply take You at Your word.
In my love, I want to relentlessly embrace You without limits.
In my joy, I want to laugh with You. Like I laughed as a child.

Without worry. Not thinking about the things that hurt.
About the haters who want to tear down my family.
Or the skeptics who hope the church fails.
And most of all Satan who tries to label me with lies.

You’ve labled me redeemed.
You did it through Your Son.
Jesus cleansed me and I am loved.
It isn’t complicated.
God I’m sorry when I’ve thought it was about programs.
Or about when I used to fill my head with knowledge and live very little of it.
I ask for forgiveness when I thought it was about neat names for events.
Or the right graphic that surely will convince people You are real.
All that matters is Jesus.
Your Son- conquering death.
That simple truth is what each breath You’ve granted me clings to.

God, we’re sorry when we push the limits and try to make this bigger, better, and more complicated than it ever was intended to be.

“Um, daddy… can we do like we did? Like before?”
“Yes child.”
“That’s all I ever wanted.”