It’s terrible having sticky fingers.
No, not the kind that pull what doesn’t belong to you
off the department store shelves.
I’m no thief.
I don’t steal stuff.
I feel stuff.
Or it’s smooth and supple,
nothing that can ruffle.
My fingers smile
as they tiptoe across.
with no hindrance,
into the secret garden, greenery
no one has ever bent before.
None have ever traced this path.
No one has made this journey,
of fingertips along the way.
“Here comes Sticky Fingers!”
I know they’re saying,
when they see me coming their way.
A solo treasure that’s all mine.
Not to keep, of course.
That would be stealing.
I’m no thief, you know.
Don’t take what’s not mine.
I leave it for the next sticky fingers.
Who I don’t know.
Sticky fingers don’t leave prints.
They take touch with them,
gently rubbing, tracing, mixing,
to the texture meant
to touch another.
Not so terrible, really.
You wait just ’round the corner
poised to … leap
just as soon as I
come your way.
There you are across the street
as I open the door to the new day.
Is that you who tickled me
as I watched the children playing
and the teens jostling
and the white-haired couple holding hands?
Surely it was you
who teared me up at the sight
of what I had always wanted
but didn’t know it, until just then.
Could you have been there, too,
when the man who had just lost his wife to cancer
handed me the empty dish
his wife had lovingly labeled with my name
so it might find its owner once she was gone?
So surprised by you,
So disguised are you,
In your many faces,
You are stealth,
You are sneaky,
But I’ve got your number.
I see you.
I know you.
Because I have met you.
You are in me, of me, all around me.
You don’t scare me.
Children do it naturally. Teens do it clandestinely. Adults do it grudgingly or not at all. How have we lost our way? Somehow, in the important-ness of following the rules, doing it right, getting good grades and earning approval, the play has slipped away. Its absence is wreaking havoc with my joy!
What if things go wrong? What if it doesn’t work out? What if I don’t measure up or I’m not what they want? What if I miss my chance? Oh. My. Goodness. Someone send in the Play Police! Somehow, the gremlins have stolen the fun.
For crying out loud, where has the anticipation gone? You know, the excited feeling in the pit of your stomach that has you smiling for no good reason. The delight that whatever happens, it’s gonna be fun. The impishness that has you looking for the perfect opportunity to shake things up and create a little havoc.
What if playfulness was the #1 item on the agenda? The only non-negotiable in your meeting because it, you knew, was the saving grace for everything else that came down the pike. But you didn’t do it on purpose because that’s the nature of fun; it just breaks out – and illuminates and lifts everything and everyone in the room.
What if God’s measuring stick was joy? He/she who has the most fun wins…
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
Children do it naturally, and along the way all that is meant to be, is.