Today I read this advice from the director of Camp Greystone. He’s reminding parents not to interpret a child’s thoughts by whether or not they manifest in an outward, surface display.
Deeply moving currents–of a child’s heart and also the wider work of God with us–don’t always show. I know this concept from my years growing up on the Potomac River. I learned about the undertow.
I learned to heed with great caution those places where the water seemed most calm. In fact, a raging and mighty current ran hidden below the surface with more force than I could imagine.
In spots where one stream fed into another, like where Little Hunting Creek met the mouth of the Potomac, this swirling tornado of underwater power deceived and captured even the best and strongest swimmers, boaters, and fishermen. Local residents knew better; we stayed near the shore and respected the hidden undertow in those places.
I remember the vocabulary of river currents today and the lesson they still teach: A Mighty Power is at work that we often cannot perceive, especially in times and places of transition. It’s too deep for surface words or visible emotions. We must stand back for a time and let the current do its work.