Consider these words by Frederick Buechner.
We are children, perhaps, at the very moment when we know that it is as children that God loves us—not because we have deserved His love and not in spite of our undeserving; not because we try and not because we recognize the futility of our trying; but simply because He has chosen to love us. We are children because He is our Father; and all our efforts, fruitful and fruitless, to do good, to speak truth, to understand, are the efforts of children who, for all their precocity, are children still in that before we loved Him, He loved us, as children, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Sometimes there’s a comfort in knowing that God loves me as a child. I will never forget the day we came back from work only to find out, we’ve been burgled. The thieves went through our home and had thrown everything on the floor. It was a mess. Everything was lying all over the place. You could hardly walk. In came Laura. I think she was about 2 years old. She looked around and started to sing her favourite song. Then she proceeded to skip and hop over the mess. She was totally happy. I remember thinking, “This is from God. God is showing me…something.” He was there, in the mess.
Now and then, I look at the world and see the terrible and heartbreaking stuff that’s happening. I tend to grow “old” and cynical. Doom and gloom can take a hold.
Mike Yaconelli wrote this in his introduction of “Dangerous wonder”. When I was six years old, my favourite comic book character was Superman. I admired his strength, his x-ray vision, his colourful uniform and bright red cape. What captured my imagination most was Superman’s ability to fly. Many of my childhood fantasies were about flying. I wanted to fly! I honestly believed flying was still a possibility. I would talk my friends into playing Superman, and they would play for a while, but soon they would tire of the game because I wouldn’t let anyone else be Superman. I had to be Superman, I told them, because I knew more about flying than they did.
Sneaking into my parents’ bathroom, I would find the stash of forbidden towels (the thick, new ones reserved only for guests). Once outside, with the towel tied around my neck and dragging on the dirt behind me, I would run as fast as I could and jump off the highest survivable launching pad I could find. With arms outstretched, cape billowing behind me, wind rushing past my ears, I believed I was flying.
Then came a day when, without warning, without provocation, I woke up, never to wear a “cape” again. Wherever the knowledge came from, it came nonetheless, and from that moment on I knew flying was nothing more than a childhood fantasy. I would never fly … and there is no Superman.
In retrospect, my day of “enlightenment” was a very sad day. I know now that something inside of me died that day. Whatever the “something” was, it was the stuff of dreams and imagination—the place where dancing, singing, laughter, and playing lived. Even at six, I understood that the possibility of flying wasn’t the point: it was the aliveness I felt when I thought I could fly; it was the voice I heard deep inside—a warm and loving voice, a living, believing voice, a wild and dangerous voice. Every time I heard that voice, I recognized who it was: God. But that day, when I was just six years young, my God-hearing went bad.
My God-hearing also goes bad from time to time. But then, God reminds me of the time Jesus said we should “become like little children”. God loves me as a child and with that, the doom and gloom seems to lift and a world full of wonder and promise opens up. A world where God is present in the mess.
Thank You Father!!