“Badgers and giants and bears, oh my!”
I don’t live in England or Wisconsin, and frankly I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a live badger. But, I do have badgers living in my house, loads of them actually.
They live behind the radiators that warm our home and they cause quite a ruckus. They chase my daughter about the house, wake her up at night, and “keep” her from cleaning her room. They have even threatened to eat me.
Only Ava has eyes to see them.
Truly I live with a three and half year old who finds sharks in her boots, catches dolphins jumping out of her rocking chair and professes that giants live in the bell tower of the church near our house.
And before you conclude that her penchant for creating stories is singular to herself, I present this picture and ask, “do you see a bunny“:
Ava does and I do. And honestly, I saw him first.
When I was five years old, the chimney bunny was an imaginary friend that I greeted to and from kindergarten.
In fact, I once told my dad as he was driving me to my cousin’s house for an evening of make-believe that our imaginations were God’s greatest gift to us. While I have since realigned the values attributed to His gifts, I still believe that our imaginations are a great and wonderful favor.
It is through our imaginations that we can create stories to make sense of His world, of His story and of Himself.
Perhaps this is part of what Christ meant when admonished us to become like little children. As a parent, I have been profoundly affected by my daughter’s ardent faith, her wonder of life and creation, and her propensity to turn it all into story. Her imagination is on the loose.
And this is the place for our stories, real and imagined.