I was recently going through pictures on my phone and I came across a screenshot of a text message from about four years ago. The text was from my oldest son John, and his lifelong friend, Jackson who were camping at the ranch. This is what it said:
John: Mom, we need some stuff from town.
Me: Ok, send me a list I am going in shortly.
John: Jelly beans and an air-horn.
Ah. The beauty of simplicity.
And the truth of John and Jackson, is they rarely needed supplies to find mischief and joy. Their friendship has changed, they are both seniors this year and attend dual credit courses at the same university. But, last night I told John we need someone to care for the house and dogs over Thanksgiving and he said, “I’ll text Jackson.” I think, or hope they know that when they are in need, they can count on each other.
And the word “need” is rattling around in my brain. It is that time of year. Need. As a foster mom, I will get lots of calls from organizations asking what we need, what the baby needs. You know? He literally needs nothing. Not a thing.
We were recently gifted tons of clothes, shoes, and pajamas. There are toys EVERYWHERE. And, he doesn’t really play with toys. He likes blocks and legos, he’s very mechanical and we have plenty of those. And not to look a gift horse in the mouth, but I can honestly say, he needs nothing.
Tis the season, a list of needs. I want to not need anything but not in the way that sounds. I need some stuff I guess. The kids need a few things. The older ones more than the younger. But I want to experience a contentment that surpasses my “needs.”
In our society, there is such a plethora of “stuff” it is hard to come to a place of great need. Of course, there is illness, tragedy, or financial trials, but we are fixers. We have a solution for everything.
Great need is what I am craving this holiday season. And in lieu of the great need of stuff and lists and madness I need to feel Jesus. I need that childlike sense of not needing because I believe in something bigger than I. Something that provides, heals, and protects.
As I worked on this post I decided it would be a fanciful tribute to John and Jackson to add pictures of them. I came across a picture that both horrifies me and makes me laugh. The picture earned them a stern talking to on the dangers of fire and flammables, but it is the demeanor that always slays me. Jackson, most confidently lighting a can of his brother’s cologne and John, casually leaning against the banister unalarmed, fully faithful in his thirteen-year-old pal’s fire handling abilities.
No need for a fire extinguisher. No need for 911. No need to get worked up. No need to worry. No need to be afraid. No need to run for your life. No need to stop drop and roll. No needs.
It is this place of confidence and calmness I covet their faith and freedom. I need to feel this. Granted, I will not be trying to fulfill this with cheap cologne and a lighter. Ugh, this picture.
But, it is simply a metaphor to how I want to feel this holiday season. It has been a long year. Our needs were overwhelming. Starting a huge building project, sending a kid to military school, legal adoptive fees, illness, and a lot of traveling means things are tight. By American standards, this is a costly time of year. And I need to figure out how to shop for dozens of people and buy them gifts, they don’t need.
Needing only Jesus. Needing His presence and feeling Him actually has me quite giddy. It will be fleeing I am sure. And again I have a need to move into a mud hut on an island where I can be focused and fulfilled with little. I wander the halls and think we should sell it all and be minimalist. But I feel we are slaves to it, and I don’t know how to do what it takes to get to a state of only needing Jesus.
And prior to Christmas shopping lists there is a season of Thankfulness. I need to focus on being thankful for blessings that are not material. For me, I need this more this year than ever. I need to focus on blessings that were in grand abundance this year, but not my new to me car, the new dryer, or donations for our upcoming adoption, or the permanency of a child in need. No, those were great things, but I want to be most thankful for peace that we experienced when we did not know, growth in our faith walk, and that of our older children, and experiencing Jesus in a new way.
Fearless. I need to be thankful that I learned to be fearless. To fearlessly love and fearlessly trust. It was a short season, maybe 15 or 20 minutes, but it was blissful. I need to feel that some more.
For today, this is my prayer, that the holiday season of 2015 is one where I need to need. That perhaps there is no Christmas bonus. That the turkeys are sold out. That we must scrimp or cut back. That I must wait on the Lord to provide every detail He wants. I don’t beg, borrow, or finagle. I just wait on Him. Like a child waits for Santa, I want to need Him to fulfill all my needs.
Maybe this is silly. Fanciful. Childlike. Maybe it is Americanized and folly.
But it is exactly what I need.
May your floors be sticky, and your calling ordained. Love, Jami