Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Importance of Dragon Feet

My wife Sara said to me, "Instagram makes everything better".  I've heard the same said of whipped cream, margaritas, and Betty White, but giving such prominence to a computer app seems a bit of a stretch.

To understand Sara's statement you should know that she places the value of photos just below the actual experience to which the photos represent. Read this previous post for a full description of this philosophy. 

I love this about my wife and have learned to accept the fact that she needs the photo for the experience to count. As I look around our home I see photos from all over the world that "prove" blissful moments captured in time. The images satisfy Sara's thirst for nostalgia and they serve as check marks in my selfish and never-ending "to do list" for life. But this is not the point. 

Today Sara used her new best-friend, Instagram, to document her day. My favorite is the photo of our five year old wearing his new dragon feet that they made out of old tissue boxes. Though my wife loves the photo because it give evidence of their experience, I was struck by the fact that my son had dragon feet. 

His dragon feet are in honor of the letter "D" which is the letter Sara and Ben are studying this week. As a mother, she is doing a brilliant job at making learning fun and in helping Ben see the usefulness of letters but something much better is happening. 

What excites me about the dragon feet is that it teaches so much more to our kids. It reminds them that in an instant a kleenex box may transform into dragon feet which is useful because just as quickly the carpet may become lava. The berries on the bushes in the backyard might just make a potion strong enough to transform our dog into a lion and with just one drop, we could be invisible. If he can have dragon feet then it is reasonable when my boys tell me the trampoline is the surface of the moon and that carefully stacked couch cushions make the perfect hiding place for the "tickle" monster. 

We live in naturally pessimistic and cynical world that has no time for dragons. But this is not the world that God created. When we help our kids know that this world is still filled with wonder and it is a place flooded with beautiful places, interesting people, and exciting adventure we invite them into the adventure that God places before us. All of creation declares the glory of God and pleads with us to join in the chorus of praise as we live with expectation that God is in this place. 

When I look at these dragon feet (which do look amazing courtesy of Instagram) I know that Sara is helping our kids develop hearts open to faith. Their worlds are expanding and the belief that there is a God who can create is not so far fetched. The call to join with this God to represent His image to the rest of creation is not regarded as a tiresome act of futility but rather an interesting endeavor. And the freedom to truly live with our hearts wide open is perfectly natural because there is clearly more than what meets the eye.

So thank you Instagram for making the Dragon Feet truly look amazing. Thank you Sara for reminding us that the God of adventures, and dragons, is the most real thing of all.