Skipper

Why do little girls skip?

I was at a traffic light last week when a Granny walked in front of me with a little girl in hand. In the middle of the road, for no apparent reason this wee lamb started to skip, then she stopped and then started again on the pavement across the street. Granny kept on without pause as this little marionette happily bobbed along beside her.

She looked to be the same age as my Jessie, about eight years, and as an inveterate skipper herself I asked her once on the way to school, “Why do little girls skip?”

“Because it’s fun!” she said. “Look, I can skip sideways!” she demonstrated proudly as I held her hand on the way to school.

“Boys don’t skip, do they?” I asked her.

“Some of them do, but mostly it’s the girls.”

Of course, I can skip too, but I usually make my way by putting one foot in front of the other; an ordinary pedestrian.

Funnily enough, skipping is referenced frequently in scripture, though it’s mostly known as leaping, and almost every reference has to do with the coming of the Lord.

King David leapt and danced before the Lord, (2 Samuel 6:16); the Psalmist leaps for joy giving thanks and praise (Psalm 28:7); the lover leaps towards his beloved in the Song of Solomon (2:8); and the lame will leap like deer and the mute shout for joy (Isaiah 35:6).

Those who encounter the presence of the Lord can only leap when His joy becomes our joy; we rejoice in the presence of the One who is joy incarnate and raise our heels in defiance of every indication that the world is somehow bad or lost. When God comes near, all our trials seem as nothing compared to his goodness.

My favourite verse and the one that comes to mind when I see little girls skip is Malachi 4:2, “But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall.”

That’s what they remind me of, little calves released from their plodding confinement, thrilled to bits, overcome with delight.

They quite literally jump for joy, and isn’t it good.

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