Faith Like a Gecko-Loving Child
Brian has been working in L.A. today (what does “L.A.” stand for, you ask? …a Long way Away!!!!) so he won’t be back till late tonight. After putting Elliott down, I decided to take advantage of every minute I had to be ultra productive–so I showered, got the kitchen all cleaned up and the dishes done, started a couple loads of laundry, made my second dinner (don’t judge) and sat down for a nice quiet evening with one goal in mind: get our update letter written.
Well, as I waddled on over to sit down at my computer with my second dinner, something–HUGE–caught my eye and I stopped dead in my tracks. And then I laughed. And laughed again. You know–that nervous, giggle-laughter where you’re caught somewhere between shocked and freaked out even though you know what’s happening is really quite funny but your body is somehow frozen and the only part of you that works is your giggle button…yeah, that kind of laugh.
Meet our new pet:
When my limbs started working again I instinctively went to grab Elliott so I could share the creature with him–just like I did earlier when the two bunnies were frolicking outside in the street or every time a new type of bug worms its way into our house or when a flock of birds is soaring through the sky. But, he was asleep. So I went to get Brian–but quickly remembered he wasn’t home! So I grabbed my third best buddy–my camera–and we shared in this ridiculous moment together.
But I just couldn’t stop laughing…at myself! And honestly, do you know why? Because it is a gecko*, and it had me so startled I couldn’t move. A gecko. Come on, folks. There are MUCH worse things to find crawling in your house. But the fact that it had me so freaked out that I didn’t even want to sit down at my computer for fear of it doing a back-flip onto my face IS RIDICULOUS. Because it’s a gecko. Not a gorilla.
Let me tell you a little something about me that will help you understand the ridiculousness of this in its entirety.
“Gecko” was my first word. Seriously. Ask my mom. (Right, mom?) I was born in the Philippines where geckos abound like tacos are consumed in Mexico. And I loved them. I mean, seriously loved them. I was totally obsessed with them all through my early years of childhood and I would constantly chase them around our house in hopes of catching one to keep for a pet.
And one day, I did. I did it! I caught a gecko!! And do you know what happened the very next moment???
Well if you know anything about geckos, you do…ITS TAIL UP AND FELL RIGHT OFF!!!! Yes, you’re reading this correctly–ITS TAIL FELL OFF!! I was HORRIFIED! TRAUMATIZED! HEART-BROKEN!! I had somehow knocked this poor creature’s tail off in the midst of my selfish desire to call the beautiful reptile my own! WHAT HAD I DONE?!?
So I grabbed my brother and begged him to help me tape the tail back on. “Come on!!” I pleaded with him as he disgustingly refused to be of any assistance. I specifically remember when he declined to hold the tail so I could tape it on, I said sarcastically, “Oh, well would you rather hold the gecko then???” You know, in that mocking “I’m-the-little-sister-and-I-know-it-all” tone of voice…
Well my dad heard us arguing and put an end to the gecko fiasco. Someone must have explained to me that geckos’ tails instinctively fall off when they feel endangered so as to scare off their predator (Me?? A predator??) and so although I was quite sincere in my effort to “save him,” I let it go. Literally and emotionally. And I never saw that tail-less gecko again. Mom got home later that night and when Dad recounted the incident to her she decided to write a poem about it. And guess what–she submitted it to a contest and it won first place! Soon after our home was filled with every type of gecko you can imagine–big stuffed geckos, little stuffed geckos, gecko pins…gecko parafanalia lined the walls, shelves, and clothing in the Mauss family home.
Okay, so back to current events. I am sitting here staring at a gecko as I write.
He hasn’t moved since I discovered him 45 minutes ago. Do you think he’s dead? Eesh…
But let’s get back to the laughing-at-myself. Do you see now why it is SO ridiculous that I couldn’t even bring myself to come within 10 feet of the thing? Because of some creepy-crawly fear that I’ve developed in the last 25 years since I was fondling that gecko like it was a baby kitten?? Where has my joyous, care-free youth gone??
This morning I felt prompted to read Hebrews 11…ahh, Hebrews 11, the blessed Hall of Faith. A passage I’ve read, probably literally, 100s of times and a passage that strikes me to the core every single time. Oh, for faith like these heroes of mine!! And God reminded me, again, that this whole journey we’re on is simply–utterly, profoundly, magnificently–simply about faith. All day I’ve been dwelling on that, eager for new revelation that I knew He was going to show me.
Why is it that the older I get, the more I “see,” the more I hear, the more I experience, the more I’ve been hurt…the less apt I am to depend upon God?? The less apt I am to trust Him? The more apt I am to say, “Yeah, you may be the God of the Universe, but I’ve got this one covered…thanks anyway, Almighty God!”
Because faith is about believing in the unseen–that’s the whole point of it. So why do I base my faith on things I’ve seen? And heard? And been disappointed in?
I’ve been afraid this week. Of things I can’t see, of things to come. Afraid of things that I never used to spend a moment fearing. Afraid of things that are so far out of my control that it’s ridiculous for me to even spend a minute trying to figure out how I can control them because I couldn’t even if I tried to. It’s like I grew up and the big bad geckos are suddenly out to get me, where they used to be my best friends. (Now, I feel like I have to put a disclaimer in here…that my fears have had nothing to do with the fact that we live in Mexico.)
A couple of weeks ago, I had fresh revelation about how we, as women, so quickly shut off, shut down, and put on scales that could repel the hardest bullet over our hearts because we’ve been hurt and so we are afraid of being hurt again. And I really, truly, utterly, overwhelmingly believe that God has created women to radiate His glory. Read all about it in Captivating. The essence of a woman is beautiful. Simply divine. Simply radiant. That is, a woman who is not guarded, not hard, not hidden, not ashamed, not afraid.
I long to be a woman who “can still and quiet her soul like a weaned child with her mother” (Psalm 131:2). And this can only, only, only come about through faith…faith like a child. Not faith like a woman who’s watched babies die. Not faith like a woman who’s seen too many children abandoned and abused by the ones they should be able to trust. Not faith like a woman who’s seen the poor suffer. But faith like a child. Faith like my child, who’s received milk or food every time he’s been hungry. Faith like my child, who’s never known to fear in his life because he can depend upon his parents. Faith like my child, who knows he is loved.
I didn’t have any fear turning 30 last month. I didn’t have the “O-M-G-I’M-TURNING-HOW-OLD??!!-NOOOOOOO!!!!” moment. 30. Despite the fact that my friend Kari told me our bodies start to decay at 30, I wasn’t afraid of getting older.
But tonight, I am. And I’m stubbornly and adamantly putting my foot down. I refuse to get older at heart. I refuse to let my faith become that of an “adult” when I am commanded to have faith like a child. I refuse to let geckos freak me out when they used to bring me laughter and delight. Oh, how I long to be the woman who can “laugh at the days to come” (Proverbs 31)!!! Oh, how I long to not be the skeptic, the cynic, the “well-let-me-just-warn-you” old cranky fart of a woman who is so worn and tattered by this world that she can’t even get her mail without thinking a bomb is going to go off in her mailbox. I don’t want to be that woman. I refuse to be that woman. I long to be soft before the Lord, soft in my Maker’s hands, soft in the will of my God. We are called to live in this world but not be of this world, and tonight I am pushing the “reset” button on my citizenship–for it is in Heaven, for it belongs to my Creator, for it is resting in hands with holes in them. And I trust Him.
creepy sweet gecko, for renewing my faith tonight, and reminding me who I used to be. And who I am.
*Gecko: apparently the rest of the world calls these things “lizards” but I, on the other hand, call everything that looks like THIS a “gecko.” Just for the record. 🙂
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