I was swimming in the sea today- so wonderful and almost warm. And in the water was a seal- he was about 50 metres away, but round the beach the cry went up’ there’s a seal!!!’ and everyone was so excited, not just the small children. It was like we had never seen one before. ( I didn’t get a picture, as it was a bit wet).
Seals are amazing creatures- they have such a rounded head, and move so gracefully in the water. What I notice about them is their desire to play! On so many occasions at Millport in the past, they have followed me along the beach, almost playing peekaboo, every time I turned round to look at them. They are comical in their interactions.
This reminds me of the importance of play. Play between adults and children, can help children feel safe, help them to voice how they are feeling, and strengthen relationships. I came across ‘ Theraplay’ and just love how simple it is and how effective. It is about creating positive relationships in fun ways. It sounds simple, but is really profound, and can bring healing to children who are struggling or unsettled.
After all these years of trauma and pandemic, it feels like we need to learn to play again. The sunshine helps, and whether it is making sandcastles or paddling in the sea, moments when we are absorbed in fun things, are so relaxing and healing. Tensions leave us, and we laugh again.
It is amazing that Jesus Himself, in the midst of his ministry, made time to be with children, and surely to play. There is an innocence and pure joy in children, that reminds us all that play is indeed essential for our wellbeing. We need more playing!
Gracious Father God, You take delight in your children, and love to see us enjoying Your Creation. Thankyou for days of sunshine, and animals and birds and fish that bring us joy. Lord Jesus you remind us that even when there is so much going on in life, playing is a blessing, sharing fun and laughter, and building relationships. Please forgive us for times when we are so serious, and heavy in heart, that it seems as if we shoulder the cares of the world. Holy spirit, we commit the people and places that we worry about, to Jesus in prayer. And we give thanks for lighter joyful moments, when we can play and laugh, and find the deep healing we need, Amen