Friday, October 8, 2010

Finding Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust

People ask us why we go to Disneyland so often. Well the answer is both easy and hard. The easy answer is we go to have fun and play. With an Annual Pass it is not that expensive to go. Now for the harder and in truth more real reason. Please read on with the understanding that this is my opinion and I am not trying to force my opinion on anybody.

Have you ever noticed how a child deals with stress when allowed to just be a child? They play and make believe. A child has faith that tomorrow will be a better day. They will believe that as long as the adults in their lives assure them it is true and do their best to make it so. They will lose that hope when some unthinking adult tells them to stop looking at the world with rose colored glasses and see the harsh reality of life. A child can and will put aside “reality” to believe the impossible at least for a moment and they allow that to help them creatively solve hard problems. They will continue to do so until some “well intended adult” tells them they need to “grow up and stop making believe”. Yes, they suffer and hurt but let them have space for childhood whimsy and they will heal and find solutions to their problems and find joy again. My husband and I have made the choice to keep this childlike attitude in our lives.

All of this goes to our faith. Jesus said, “Come to me as a child.” Why a child? A child is uneducated, selfish and unable to do much for themselves. So why did Jesus say come to me as a child? Maybe it is to keep the childLIKE joy. Did you notice I did not say childISH? Not selfish or uneducated but instead come with eyes wide and open hearted excited to learn something new. That is the difference between childish and childlike. Maybe it is so we can suspend reality just long enough so we can believe in something beyond and outside of ourselves and what we can see.

So what does my faith have to do with Disneyland? Well going to Disneyland exercises my whimsy and helps me to keep an open, joyful heart. It reminds me to look at the amazing with childlike eyes and be awed again at what God does for me everyday.

I have had many problems in my life but for today I’m going to tell you about my Peter Pan daMan, Scott. My husband works as a respiratory therapist. He works with all patents but specializes in neonates, new born babies.  Some of these babies are not well or even dead when they are born and placed in his hands. Most of the babies he cares for survive but it is hard for him to see them suffer so and sometimes die at the beginning of their life. Going to Disneyland restores his faith and gives him hope and strength to continue what he does. He sees healthy children running all over the place excited to be there with their families. This brings him joy and reminds him that children do heal and have happy lives. He sees children, like the very sick ones he cares for in wheelchairs, on crutches or being carried around the park in the arms of loving family members smiling and enjoying life even though their physical or mental abilities are limited. When he sees that 10 year old with Downs Syndrome at Disneyland laughing he knows that the little one he delivered the day before can have a joyful life even with the problems. This gives him renewed strength and purpose to go back to work the next day and do it all over again.

Scott often wears scrubs with Disney characters on them. His work ID lanyard is covered with Disney pins, many of them Tinker Bell. He carefully chooses each one. The Tinker Bell pins bring him joy because they make him think of me when we are not together. His patients will ask him why all the Disney stuff and it gives him a chance to tell them all it takes to move forward from where you are today is Faith, Trust and just a little Pixie Dust. He encourages them to hang onto or find whimsy in their lives even during the middle of a hospital stay. This allows him to help himself and his patients.

So why do we go to Disneyland so often? We go to play, renew, heal and find Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust. What do you do to find Faith, Trust and Pixie Dust?

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