“There is something pretty amazing about watching friendships form between children from different continents, cultures, and without a common language. Who knew discovering bubbles together could be the bonding agent?” said a good friend who teaches preschool refugee children from all over the world.
She was trying to communicate with a little boy who had only been in our country for a few weeks. He was overwhelmed and timid and would not play with the other children. To reach him she shared a bottle of bubbles. As the children watched him become a playful giggling playmate, they began to include him and he blossomed. All because of bubbles.
I started thinking about bubbles, and the fun, but often elusive act of trying to catch them. Sometimes a simple concept can help illustrate truths in your life. I wrote a little ditty on bubbles that helped me solidify my feelings about some heartbreaking experiences. But notice I don’t need to be specific on what those experiences were. I want to reach a broader audience and protect the privacy of those I love who hurt me. I was simply unpacking some ways I’ve chosen to deal with the hard stuff and share how much my faith impacts my responses.
Questions like bubbles lift into the air, waft on the breeze and pop before the next one forms. Pursed lips blow from a dripping wand; shimmering, shiny, floating bubbles wobble and burst. I ask the same questions and they morph into prayers. Why did that happen? What should I do? Where am I going? The color of a bubble is changing, sheer violet and blue, lifted high, glimmers of hope. I reach out, grasping before they pop.
What is God trying to tell me? I want to anchor my thoughts on His truth and know that He is the wind moving my heart, answering my prayers. When I ask why, He shifts the wind; the bubble wobbles and drifts away as my thoughts ponder the inscrutable. As I accept not knowing the why and settle into the aftermath, He is there, unshakeable, scattering my doubts to the wind. His answer is absolute. All I need to know is that He is unwavering, that His purposes rise above the pool of messy soapsuds I create when I grasp for answers that are not for me to know.
Pop, pop. I watch. But instead of the dismay of uncertainty, I praise Him for being the I Am. For being All Things, All Answers. I praise Him that I can rest in not knowing. I praise Him for the sheer joy of the shimmering suds, the beauty of the color, the rest of my soul knowing that He knows, knowing that He is God, and knowing that my questions don’t need an answer to enjoy peace that surpasses understanding.
Or take the same topic to create a more lighthearted thought on bubbles… and giggles:
Giggles, soft pebbles of sound, rising gleeful, high notes, melodious, four toothed smile. Gentle splashing, tiny hands swirl warm water scented with foaming oil. Chubby feet, sweet smile, frothy bubbles. A baby in the tub. Slippery, smooth skin, soft and shiny, who knew a tiny arm could have rolls of fat, pudgy dimples at the elbow? Giggles, chortles, baby mirth. And what are those sweet dimples above the baby bottom, one on either side, dripping soapy water? I told my kids they’re fipples and they didn’t find out ‘til they were teens that I just made it up. Or thought I did. Giggles at the fipples. Oh my, it’s actually a word, added giggles as they grow, finding the meaning of fipples. Fipple flute mouthpieces on tin whistles and recorders, a wood air block, now you know. It’s a fipple flute, making melody, notes rising with the giggles. But also the soft little dimples above my baby’s butt. Giggles over fipples, baby mirth so simple. Smiling chuckles, four tooth grin, small hands grasping at bubbles rising in the warm air, out of reach, pop. Bath time.
Practice that with different ideas as you experience your days. Use the idea to write something about how you live your life, then flip it over and write something silly and fun!