In the very early morning, when my husband and I leave to go to the gym, we pass by a local business with their display window bright from the spotlight shining on a huge, taxidermized polar bear. Now, if we lived in the Alaskan tundra this might not be an unusual sight, but we, however, live in a small town in North Alabama.
Without fail, I growl at my husband when we pass by the polar bear. No matter what we are talking about, I stop and growl before we continue the conversation. I asked him one day if he thought I was a weirdo for growling like a polar bear, he looked at me and smiled and simply said, “Don’t ever grow up.”
I recently read a quote by author Elizabeth Gilbert, “Don’t ever be ashamed of loving the strange things that make your weird little heart happy.” As silly as it sounds, my weird little heart loves growling like a polar bear. Is it silly? Absolutely! Is it weird? Oh, yeah! Is it fun? You bet it is!
In Matthew 18, Jesus’ disciples were wanting to know who was the greatest in Heaven. Jesus simply called a little child over and said to them, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.” Matthew 18: 3-5
Little children are full of imagination and wonder. They trust fully, love without limits, and are able to be themselves without fear of being called weird or strange. They don’t worry about the mundane parts of their lives; they are able to fully understand unconditional love. One of my favorite musicians, Brandi Carlile, sums this up beautifully in her song, Stay Gentle. It speaks of how we are to be like little children. My favorite line in the song is from the bridge, “The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to a boy, while his worry belongs to a man.”
This week, I urge you to stay gentle, be like a child, let your little weird heart love the strange things. Society expects us to grow up way too soon; don’t listen to them! Roar like a polar bear.
If you are like me, summer vegetables are filling up your fridge. I hate wasting food, so this summer vegetable chowder is a wonderful way to use up all of those delicious veggies. This also freezes extremely well and will give you a little taste of summer during the cold winter months. This dish is vegetarian but feel free to add shredded chicken, cooked ground beef, or chopped ham for a hearty dish. The soup pairs perfectly with fresh rolls, cornbread, or simple crackers. I hope your family enjoys it as much as mine does.
“But Jesus said, Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14