Want to know Jesus more? Talk to a three year old. The study of theology should include a mandatory class on how three year olds experience God. All of the books, commentaries, studies, and wise masters of thought can’t hold a candle to the simple observation of these tiny theologians.
I have been in the presence of one for a week, and it puts my seminary years to shame. And to the test. Yesterday we came upon a dead bird on the street on our walk. My alarm bells instantly went off. Danger, danger, warning, Will Robinson!! You’re going to have to explain death in a minute! Sure enough:
Connor: What’s that?
Me: Oh, that’s a dead bird, Sweetie.
Connor: How did it die?
Me: It looks like maybe it fell out of its nest. (Or was attacked and dropped by a larger predator bird….edit…yeah, it fell out)
Connor: Will it wake up?
This is when my sweating turned to praying. The concept of death is a terrible struggle for an adult, much less a concrete, literal thinker who has only been on the planet for 36 months.
Me: No, Sweetie, it won’t.
Connor: Then where will it go?
AHA! Something I know about! Here is a chance to talk to this boy about heaven! Eternal Life! The power of God! The hope! Something I can explain!
Me: It will go to heaven and live with Jesus.
Connor: How will it get there?
Me: (hoping that by tomorrow the bird will have been removed) God will take it there.
Connor: But how can God lift it up?
Enough with the concrete thinking, young man. We live by faith, not by sight! Boy, was he putting my schooling to the test….and then I remembered a song he had just sung at his Pre School end-of-year program. Thanking God for all things Presbyterian, I said:
Me: Remember the song you just sang at Pre School?
He started to sing “What a Mighty God We Serve”. I started to breathe again.
Me: So God is Mighty enough to take the bird up to heaven.
Connor: Can God lift up a bird?
Connor: Can God lift up a bush?
Connor: Can God lift up a boat?
Connor: But God can’t lift up a cactus.
Me: Why not?
Connor: Because he will get a pokey poke.
Me: Its OK, God is stronger than a pokey poke.
We then worked through how God can lift up houses, helicopters and sharks, even though they bite.
Connor was silent for a moment and then said, “I think the Mommy bird will be very sad.” The sweetness of this response still stings me at the back of my eyes. Yes, all mommies are very sad if they loose their little birds.
I guess the point of all of this is to say to you today, GOD IS A MIGHTY GOD. He is strong and caring. He doesn’t sleep because he is so busy taking care of you. (That was this morning’s conversation) And no matter where life is giving you a major pokey poke, God is even bigger than that.
“God stretches the northern sky over empty space and hangs the earth on nothing. He wraps the rain in his thick clouds, and the clouds don’t burst with the weight. He covers the face of the moon, shrouding it with his clouds. He created the horizon when he separated the waters: he set the boundary between day and night. The foundations of heaven tremble; they shudder at his rebuke. By his power the sea grew calm. By his skill he crushed the great sea monster. His Spirit made the heavens beautiful, and his power pierced the gliding serpent. These are just the beginning of all that he does, merely a whisper of his power. Who, then, can comprehend the thunder of his power?” Job 26:7-14
Photo by Michelle Robertson.