Wednesday, April 3, 2013

'Ope

Isaiah stands at the low wooden shelf of the changing table with his chubby hand tugging on the handle of a basket that's stuck.  Unable to get to the books trapped inside, he turns to me whining and fussing to communicate his desire.

Seizing the teachable moment, I prompt, "Help, Isaiah. Say, 'help.'"

"Ope," he says, copying my dramatic drawn-out inflection to perfection, but missing the 'h' and 'l.'  "Ope," he shouts, pulling on the basket for emphasis.

*   *   *

Levi stands at the gate that divides the living room from the rest of the house. He's fussing to get my attention, while also checking and rechecking the lock on the latch. He wants to be set free, he wants the run of the house.

Walking over and looking down into his face I say, "Open, Levi. Say 'open please.'"

'Ope," he says, rubbing a quick circle over his bulging belly, the baby-sign-language gesture for please.  'Ope," he repeats for good measure, relieved to have the verbal keys that unlock the door to his desire. 

*   *   *

It’s the day after Easter and my husband and I have an appointment with the bank set for the following day.  We have dreams for our lives, our family, our ministry, dreams this beautiful little house doesn’t seem capable of holding.  So we’re starting to lean into the future, starting to speak of our hopes and dreams and as we do, I can feel the desperate, hungry flocks of fear gathering like vultures.  

As people of the resurrection, we’re called to dream, to imagine and move into our dreams, but too often I find myself stuck when the dark clouds of fear and disappointment roll in.  How does one find a place to stand between control and resignation, between taking a dream upon your own small shoulders and abandoning it in the dirt? 

*   *   *

Levi and Isaiah are waiting at the gate again and as I approach Levi flashes a look of inspiration.

“Ope,” he says and his brother chimes in too so that they form a small chorus, a flock of sweetly singing birds.  “Ope, ope,” they chirp while rubbing their bellies in little circles of politeness. 

But through some blend of forced breath and mispronunciation, the word I hear is “hope” and it’s then that my eyes and ears are opened to these two chubby-faced messengers sent by God. 
“Hope, hope,” Isaiah says as he tugs at the basket.

“Hope, hope,” Levi pleads as he stands at the locked gate.

“Please,” their small hands say as they circle their bellies again and again.

*   *   *

These two little birds are teaching me the language of God-sized dreams, teaching me to sing the songs of desire and how can I help but join the chorus? 

Standing at the gate to the future that I can't unlock on my own, I sing the song of hope, adding in a gesture of "please" for good measure.  I throw back the shadows of fear and doubt with this small word that escapes my lips like a breath of fresh air, a mighty wind that chases the gathering clouds away.

“Hope, hope,” I say as we move forward, leaning, listening to the Whisperer of dreams, the Giver of gifts, the One who sent this beautiful flock of birds to settle in my nest singing their lovely song of hope.  

Linking with Emily and Jennifer.

12 comments:

  1. Always go for the brass ring "God's Plan" for your life. 18 years ago Neil brought me a couple of boards and asked me if I could dry them. I said yes. I had no clue, but I had confidence in God's Plan for my life. Didn,tknow what it was, but was sure there was one. You know the result, largest sawmill in the southern hemisphere, 1000's of jobs, and the adventure of a lifetime. Go for it and don,t let the first door that slams shut turn you around. You, John, and your family will do great things.

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    1. Thanks, Dad. I'm excited to see what the next chapter brings for you guys too, the story's not over yet!

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  2. ope indeed!
    keep listening and surrendering to His lead, His plans are huge!

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  3. Oh, the joy of that monstrous gate of fear and dejection being thrown wide open by our Pappa God to step out into the freedom He has bought on the cross. Big hugs to Isaiah and Levi! They seem sooo precious! Visiting via Emily's.
    Blessings
    Mia

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  4. Through the mouths of babes . . . God speaks. Love their chirping "ope" and we did that sign language with our kids too. May His hope build as you take more steps toward your dreams. Thanks for linking up with Duane and I as we find wonder in the every day while reading Wonderstruck.

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    1. Thanks, Shelly, maybe someday I'll get around to reading the book, it looks wonderful!

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  5. Having never heard your precious boys speak it seems strange to say I can hear them speaking, but I hear them. Whether thats the Father prompting me to hope as well, or the talent of your words, or likely the interplay of both, I thank you.

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    1. Thanks:) Yes, I think the song of hope is one we all desperately need to hear.

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  6. I am shouting Ope with your little ones today, Kelli - this is beautiful...and so hope-filled.

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  7. Beautifully written... praying your future works out the exact way you hope, hope, hope for! :)

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