Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wisdom of Children

I learn a lot from my kids. Sam is three, so his influence is primarily that of reminding me about how blissful it is to know that you are valued, loved, and provided for. I often forget that I am a child of the most capable Father. Well, it's not that I forget it. Maybe it's more that I do not act like I am. Of course, Sam has little conscious thought about being provided for. He simply is. Yet the providence and freedom give him the luxury of bliss. How do I respond to the luxury and freedom of forgiveness, grace, and providence? Quite differently than Sam does, I can tell you that.

Then there is Zoe, our resident theologian at five. Night time is often the time of discovery and revelation. Of course part of that is because she is stalling going to bed and daddy is a sucker for conversations about God. Earlier this week she was wrestling with the concept of the divinity of Christ and the mystery of the virgin birth. "Daddy, is Jesus...Jesus is God, right?" Hmm...how to make this make sense for her. No clue. "Yes, Zoe. He is." "Oh-ho! Wow! But, but how can God be born on Christmas?" Cue Jeopardy theme in Zach's head. "Well, Zoe, that's one you'll probably be trying to figure out for a long time." Ugh! Horrible answer. Keep trying. "See, Zoe, God was always with us, but He wanted us to know it. So, he decided to become a person." Hmm, did that connect? "If...if Jesus is God, He must have been there when everything was made." Take that, Arius! Even a 5 yr old who's never read the Gospel of John gets it. "He sure was, Zoe." Her response, "That's pretty cool."

On another night we were saying our prayers. We have a formula, being good Presbyterians and all... decently and in order you know. We say things we are thankful for, things we are sorry for, and folks we want God to please bless. The other night I confessed not doing something because I was afraid to do it. She placed her little hands gently on my cheeks and looked at me with loving eyes and said, "Daddy, don't be afraid. God is always with you. That's what you tell me" What a love! So good when the teaching comes back and holds me accountable.

Then there was today. We were getting some exercise, running around the neighborhood. We took water breaks here and there. Toward the end there was a slight drizzle of rain (it rained hard only hours before). At first she said, "Looks like God is canceling our walk!" God had 'kicked her out of the pool' with thunder the day before. Then she said,"Hey, maybe God heard us talking about water and said, 'You want some water to cool you off? I'll give you some water!" Then she decided we needed to skip. I maintain that many of the world's problems could be solved by a skip break. Anyway, as we skipped along she began to sing and proclaim loudly, "God is so wonderful! God is really great!" How I wanted to scream it with her! Yet I was silent for fear that neighbors might think I were a religious nut case. I'll have to work that out in fear and trembling before my God. But for now, I'm really proud of my five year old theologian. She is my hero, and a constant reminder of the goodness of God's grace, the wideness of God's mercy, and the reality of being held and called beloved by the One who is the very fabric of being.
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