O Wisdom, how diverse are your works! In the great sea alone, there are countless creeping critters and all sizes of living things! Humans build ships to cross it, but you form Leviathan to play in it. – Psalm 104:24-26 (adapted) 

I’m sitting at the end of a long bench in the food court, buzzer in hand as I wait for my order. The bench borders three sides of an informal stage – a raised platform where local art shows are staged and amateur bands perform.  

For now, the stage is empty and the food court is noisy with people. A little girl in a pink tutu skips up the stage stairs and climbs onto the far side of the bench, which she walks like a balance beam – one foot in front of the other – until she nears the side of the bench where I’m sitting. 

Three feet away from me, she stops. She stares not at me but at the space I’m occupying. 

“Do you need me to move?” 

She nods. I stand up, and she completes her balancing routine, taking a triumphant leap off the end of the bench. I sit back down as she scampers into the food court. 

Two minutes later, she returns to skip around the bench. When she reaches me this time, I stand up automatically, grinning. Again she jumps off the end. Again I sit down. Again she returns.  

I marvel that we adults choose seriousness more often than playfulness. We study ourselves seriously: what’s my Enneagram number, what’s my purpose in life? We study creation seriously, how to save it or how to monetize it. (I daresay we study one another that way too, too often.) We take a similarly serious approach to faith: what can be saved, what can be used, what needs to be cast off? 

Meanwhile, Leviathan spins and splashes and plays in the vast sea of God’s creation, and God in her pink tutu makes a playground out of a food court. 

Prayer: Jump and play around me, O Spirit, until I am provoked to join you in joy. 

cross-posted with the Daily Devotional

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