Our Elliot went to sleep on the couch instead of his bed, which he normally does when sick. Except he wasn’t sick, he was out of sorts, and this was his way of signalling that he knew things were not right.
It had been a big day. I’d had to put myself on time-out by 7:30am, and that was before he slammed a door repeatedly, shattering its pane of glass.
We use the image of a volcano with Elliot to talk about his level of arousal, and I knew I had to model calming down while still in the ‘orange’. He was well and truly in the exploding ‘red’ zone, but that day, no matter what, he just couldn’t seem to make it into the calm ‘green’ zone. So he went to sleep on the couch.
At dinner, I talked to him about one of my favourite quotes from Anne of Green Gables, “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?” Tomorrow doesn’t have to be the same as today. You can make it different.
Elliot hung his head and asked, “But where will I get the power to be different?” I could hear his despair here, the fear that he would ruin it.
So we talked with him about the Holy Spirit, how by God’s empowering presence, change is possible. Elliot is used to the idea that God is with us by his Spirit, because of the pictures we draw and how we say goodbye to one another, “I love you and God is with you.” But then Arthur said something beautiful. He said, “The Holy Spirit is already waiting for you in tomorrow.”
Swahili has this word, kutangulia, which means something like ‘to go ahead of’, but it’s different from leading or being out in front. It has connotations of going ahead so you can prepare things, so when the others catch up or meet you, things are ready for them. I loved the idea that not only is the Holy Spirit with us in tomorrow, but that He is already making things new there.
I’m reminded of the lyrics from the old hymn about God’s faithfulness, “Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.” We have hope that it will be a better day because He does not abandon us to today, nor wash His hands because of today. We are neither alone, nor breaking new ground. We meet Him there, as He has met us here.
Categories: Written by Tamie
Tamie Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.