(Nils & his Legacy “little buddy”)
Lately I’ve been thinking about kids. Maybe it’s the nostalgia of graduation when such memories tend to abound. Or maybe it’s the book proposal I submitted this month, in the midst of all this crazy. My Covenant Story with illustrations, and who knows what will happen, but it’s got me thinking about children past and children future, and maybe someday being a Grand. Kyle’s been searching for lakefront lots; we drove past one just the other night. And I got teary-eyed when I told him my dream of a farmhouse table, massive in size, all generations sitting together, young and old side-by-side. (Fantasy aside, I’m also aware of the possibility that five offspring, multiplied by potential little grands, may add up to a bit of insanity. But alas.)
Even at church we’ve been doing this series about Generations. Kids and grown-ups being the church together, everyone sharing in faith. I watch the children and my heart grows tender. There’s no better way to pass on the Gospel then planting those seeds deep in a little person’s heart.
The night two of my boys graduated from high school I heard this story. A Legacy teacher now retiring was being honored, and she shared her memory of a third-grade class. There were two people, relatives of students, with life-threatening illnesses, and each situation looked bleak. So Mrs. Kowalchuk’s children began their vigil, praying day after day, and month after month. They prayed without ceasing, only believing. And God answered their prayers. Miracles happened all around.
The faith of a child. There is nothing like it. Pure, undefiled, and full of hope. I’ve been wondering lately, about my own journey, and how the years of maturing can complicate faith. The Way becomes murky, and the Good News sobered by pressure to perfect it and get it right. Can we ever go back?
When I tell my own story of coming to Jesus, I start out with something like this. For as long as I can remember I’ve believed Him, and loved Him. When I first heard the Gospel (at camp, I was 12) – my YES was so easy. Of course I will follow!
Much of my work is teaching the grown-ups to teach their children, but sometimes I wonder if we’ve turned it around. Maybe Moms and Dads need the faith of their littles to get through this troublesome life.
Yesterday at church we all took communion, young and old side-by-side. And the pastor did something a bit unexpected. As he prepared the table, he talked to the children. Mommy, Daddy, what does all of this mean? Why this bread? Why this cup? Why the body and blood? It was priceless. Like hearing the story for the very first time. On the way home, Kyle said out loud what I’d already been thinking. Communion today made me think of your book. Moms, dads, and kids, all reading together, discovering the story. I laughed. That’s just what I was imagining, too.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout ALL GENERATIONS, for ever and ever! Amen.