It’s helpful to have a toddler in life. Hand-in-hand with a one or two year-old and you are apt to do two things well: notice a world of previously unnoticed details and take twice as long to get anywhere.
Most notably, one particular item favored by my little one right now are fans. You read that right. The basic fan. From the industrial sized ceiling fan overhanging an entire section of our gym, to the ceiling fan in my bedroom, to the little hand-held fan that blows out bubbles for her to play with, Ellie is mesmerized. In the same way one would stop and smell the flowers together, we stop and watch the blades of fans rotate and we smile and giggle and point together.
And so, in all of my slowing down around these rotating blades, I have come to appreciate something even more about them that they bring me beyond their basic purpose of ventilation (and toddler entertainment): they make the unseeable, the seemingly unnoticeable, come to life. Fans create something wonderful, something refreshing and invigorating, out of something that was otherwise unnoticeable or stale. What we previously didn’t notice – air – becomes something we notice – a cool breeze. The circulation of air gives us the ability to feel air and we find ourselves being able to feel that which was previously unable to be felt or touched. Pretty magical when you think about it.
Fans remind me that even when I can’t feel or touch what is happening in my life – and in the moments that circumstances feel stale – I need to believe that Divine circulation will move everything around and back to life. In the same way that Ellie herself doesn’t operate the fans, or even know how they work, I don’t need to know how to move the air myself, I just need to be on the lookout for what I don’t think I can see but that I can actually feel. I need to know how to invite God in to move the air around me and to appreciate my air, and in doing so I just might find myself pointing in wonder and amazement at the fans I see, ones that remind me of a deep and Divine truth, just like my toddler does. Like daughter, like mother, and I like it that way.
I rest encouraged, in my faith, in my confidence, in my joy and in my hope, for fans are proof that we are surrounded by a Divine presence that tickles us and blows a gentle breeze our direction, bringing to life any staleness we might not have noticed or seen. My heart rests in peace in knowing that I don’t have to have it all figured out, I just have to live and be alert to the little signs of love, presence and purpose God sends my way – the intangible things that become tangible when felt with the soul.