When our three girls were very small, they all went through a period of time when each of them had a little imaginary friend that went everywhere with them. Day in and day out, our little ones invited their invisible playmates to go with them to Pre-school and to play outside in the yard, to go with us to the grocery store, and to take a bath together. Our young daughters included their made-up friends in every conversation and every decision they made throughout their day. When my husband and I read to our children at night, we had to make sure that there was enough room on the couch so our girl’s unseen companions could sit with us and listen to the story, as well. For as long as our young daughter’s imagination found comfort in envisioning each of their invisible friends, our girls believed they were loved unconditionally by that buddy and they were never alone.
Father Joseph de Beaufort compiled a collection of wisdom teachings from Brother Lawrence, a 17th century Carmelite monk, and put them in a book, entitled, “The Practice of the Presence of God.” In his writings, Brother Lawrence emphasized his desire to remember that God in Christ was his constant companion throughout every step of his life. He talked to God continuously, inviting the Creator to join him in his daily activities, whether it be a time of personal or corporate worship, toiling in the garden, preparing a meal, or washing dishes. As this wise old monk consciously regarded God as his constant invisible companion, he always felt loved unconditionally, and remembered that he was never alone in this world, or the world to come.
Jesus said, “I assure you that if you don’t turn your lives around and become like this little child, you will definitely not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3 CEB). Children have no problem remembering their imaginary friends and they include them in every aspect of their lives. However, we as Christians, have a REAL friend and Savior, Jesus Christ, who walks every step of our journey with us and who also happens to be invisible to the naked eye. This divine friend loves us unconditionally and he never gives up on us. Yet, we often cannot even remember to talk to him every day, let alone be diligent to include him in all we say, do, and think. Something is wrong with us – we have lost our child-likeness.
I challenge each one of us to practice daily, the presence of God. What a difference such a habit will make in our lives and the world! God Bless.