Thursday, November 3, 2011
Of Capes and Mantles
What is it about capes that fascinates boys and girls? We know how they love to drape themselves in a towel or sheet, and suddenly they become taller...braver....and boldly step into the persona of Superman or current superhero complete with sound effects? I witnessed it just this week with trick-or-treaters appearing at the front door.
I recall my cousin Clay's six-year old birthday party offered a garage filled with a dozen boys decked out in superman capes, exhibiting all their superpowers in the simple red capes his momma had zipped out on her machine. Etched in my memory, this scene is unforgettable in its simplicity and endures through the decades as I have watched the heart of his momma weave as a shuttle in the lives of her three sons, all grown, Godly men now with children of their own. There is something about that mantle that, when donned, gives them the confidence to step out as somebody other than who they are at the time. Imagination is invigorating! We can help children see beyond the limitations they face, or appear to face, each day.
I am suggesting that we give them an invisible mantle--one that doesn't come untied and will grow as they age-- an amazing mantle! Where do you get a cape like that? You can make it yourself, no sewing machine needed. I believe the daily prayers of a momma for her child availeth much, an old fashioned way of saying they are effective to provide clothing for the heart, growing soul and expanding mind of a boy or girl whose needs we cannot fully know, though we think we know them inside and out. There is, however, One whose Presence will serve as a shield and buckler, as a sure defense and strong tower--One whom they can learn to trust in time as much as a young child trusts the heart of his momma. Fathers and grandparents as well are capemakers to the little ones in our lives, daily bestowing the mantle that will clothe the interior life of a child.
We keep praying for God's shaping of the frame, God's instilling of dreams and desires, God's bringing to bear fruit in its season. It's not about us, though it is a steep challenge to extricate our identity from our children in this performance-driven society. It is also not about perfection, but you've probably already let that one go. It is the task of a lifetime, if you ask me. It will take everything you have to give. Praying for and with them models a life dependent on God to supply our deepest needs. I'm still doing it, even as I am delighting in a man-son who is grown and bearing witness in his own faith journey and see our daughters likewise living into their pursuit of God's call in their lives. God is faithful even though we are not.
Wow. This began as an early morning email to some young mothers I meet with weekly, but I thought it suitable to share with others. God works like that sometimes--stops us in our tracks while we were busy doing other things and brings to mind a new thing. I hope you find beauty in a new thing today!
(image credit: capes pictured are made by Erin of http://inevergrewup.net/birthday-bash-giveaway-15-cape/)