Friday, October 2, 2009


i realize now that it's kind of like the difference between barbie and playmobil. (ha! ready for this one? hang with me...)

i played with barbies a lot growing up. a lot. (even though my little sister liked to remove, switch, and even compact their heads, which is maybe another story for another time). now, i haven't seen a barbie in quite a while, so it's possible this is no longer true, but back in my day, barbies couldn't stand on their own. their very disproportionate, shaped-for-high-heels, itty bitty feet were useless, really (except, of course, for showing off those fabulous high heels). if barbie was going to stand--to steal a smooch from ken, perhaps, or to walk her little plastic poodle or to model her fantastic new dress--i had to make her stand.

barbie doesn't show up around here. i'm not sure if luke even knows she exists. but playmobil guys? they're everywhere. little policemen, little roman soldiers, little pirates (all with little bitty weapons left lying around everywhere) have overrun luke's room, my living room, my dining room. and they stand up all by themselves. before luke's fourth birthday, i never knew these guys existed. but even the playmobil novice can line up the soldiers or make the pirates walk the plank with no trouble at all. they're perfectly balanced with perfect little flat feet, and they stand up really easily.

the line that stuck in my head last night after choir rehearsal was this one: "I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand by My Hand." i fell asleep with those words ringing in my ears, thinking that although "how firm a foundation" is such a familiar hymn, i've never really heard those words before. they do not say that God will help me to stand; they say He will cause me to stand.

like barbie, with her silly little useless feet, i cannot stand (fancy shoes or no) unless i am caused to.

i decided, as i rehearsed this line over and over again, that i'm relieved to hear those words afresh. i am absolutely not responsible for holding myself up. in fact, i cannot. unlike playmobil guys, barbie is not going to stand on her own--even for a second--no matter how hard i work to get her legs positioned just right or her too-big top balanced over her too-little bottom.

but i'm standing. i am. and so i'm grateful. so i breathe a sigh of relief--it's not all my responsibility, after all!--that i'm caused to stand. i am made to stand by Him who made me, and not by my own strength, not one bit. i will lean into that Hand, then; I will rest in Him who causes me to stand.

(and i'm grateful, for sure, that here ends any comparison between myself and barbie.)


Meredith said...

You know, the compacted head was just an experiment. I also cut one open. We should have known then about my career choice...

On a more serious note, this post reminds me of the "Footprints in the Sand" piece. You know that one, right?

Rebecca said...

Interesting. The visual image I've had of late re. my physical relationship to God is that of being curled in his fist. Not standing, no. But definitely relying on that hand.

Thanks for these thoughts, Daniele.