On eggplants, imagination, and being like a child

This quote made me laugh.


Vivid image, isn’t it? A child growing into an eggplant, or any variety of garden vegetable hiding in the depths of the fridge.

It reminded me of a man I knew years ago. We were in a church singles group. Mike had a different personality: a little clueless, a little goofy, a lot of warm-hearted kindness. As a young man, he had been in a horrible accident. Thrown from a horse, I think. Afterward, he was in a coma. Doctors told his mother that he’d be a vegetable for the rest of his life.

At that point in the story, he’d point to his vivid red hair. “Well, I did turn out to be a carrot top.”

Even brain damage didn’t stop his imagination from linking the doctor’s dire (and wrong) prediction with his natural hair color. His child-like personality often left him socially impaired, but it also gave him a big heart and an openness that, sometimes, we oh-so-mature grown-ups lack.

We’re busy hiding behind polite adherence to social nuances. We’re nice, which has to be the worst adjective possible to saddle on a person and we all know it, but we’re too determined to be nice because we think it makes us mature when it doesn’t.

It’s only in becoming like a child that we find true maturity.    


14 thoughts on “On eggplants, imagination, and being like a child

  1. I have noticed too, that some adults who have learning difficulties and become Christians have a more innocent and trusting faith than many educated and sophisticated and worldly Christians have. Become born again…? See the world and God like little children do…?


    1. It’s an interesting contradiction, in a way: on the one hand, we’re to be like little children in coming to God, and yet we are also to grow in maturity in our faith. Sometimes (often) it’s a struggle to do both!


  2. Love the quote, and love the story about your friend. My son Jonathan, because of his disability, is more childlike than his 13 years would normally suggest, but that is such an appealing part of who he is. He doesn’t resent; he doesn’t hold grudges; he doesn’t envy (well, maybe he might try to take away a smaller kid’s ball or balloon….); he just lives his life. There’s so much to learn from that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I enjoy hearing about Jonathan and his attitude so much, Jeannie. I know there are days when it’s hard for you and your family, but every time I read about him, I learn something and feel like the world is a little brighter because he’s in it and you’re in it! Thanks!!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I too loved the Ursula LeG quote! And the story about the fellow with the carrot-top. And the whole post! 🙂

    As for this line: “It’s only in becoming like a child that we find true maturity.” That will keep me chewing for a while.
    I find that when I’m more like a child, I’m in the moment, in the flow…without sugarcoating anything, I’d like to say I’m happier too.

    I can’t help but think of Madeleine L’Engle, who was often asked if her books were for adults or for children. Her famous response: ” “You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”


    1. That is a great L’Engle quote. I’m amazed at the number of would-be (or actual) writers who think writing for children or teens is easier than writing for adults. (Cue my Valley Girl imitation): Like, WHATEVER!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ha ha!! :))) I thought of you this morning as I was watching a YouTube video of Jonathan Van Ness commenting about the Oscars (I only watch it for him) and his co-host was a actor & comedian Drew Droege!!!! drewdroege.com On Twitter he’s at @drewdroege Is he a distant cousin? I liked him! Are *you* on Twitter yet??? You know I’d like you there! :)))) It’s way better than Facebook!


      2. No clue if Drew’s a relative! I’ve never met any other Droeges except my sister-in-law, now that she’s changed back to her married name; my mother-in-law is remarried and my husband’s cousins live far away. I’ve heard that there’s a group of Droeges in the Atlanta area, though.

        I used to be on Twitter, but it made my mind rather jumpy, so I ended up ditching both Twitter and Facebook. If I were, I’d follow you, too!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. “we’re too determined to be nice because we think it makes us mature when it doesn’t”

    Wowza, Laura. That described me when I was a young adult. I eventually grew out of it, whether from experience or what not. Maybe my introversion just got so pronounced that I wouldn’t play the niceness game any longer.


    1. Prior to writing this post, I went on a post-church rant (in front of my kids!) about how I was sick and tired of church people being so NICE all the time, when nice isn’t even on the list of the fruit of the Spirit. Nice, nice, nice, I ranted. Nothing ever changes when we’re overly-nice and overly-polite, including things that need to change. But it’s hard to be the lone female in a church setting who is willing to confront, object, or do anything that sweet Southern church ladies aren’t supposed to do because we’re supposed to be “nice” to everyone. (Sorry, I started ranting again!)

      Liked by 1 person

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