I was desolate and afraid, and full of woe and terror. But when that beautiful sun began to climb the horizon life was to me again. –Bram Stoker
Out of the mouth of babes:
This week was Spring Break. So…. we kept our children at home, accomplished much less than we needed to and buried ourselves in each other. On Wednesday, Corbin was lamenting that we had not gone to church, so Nathan spent more time than usual reading to him from his Jesus Storybook Bible. This version is a beautifully depicted narrative that draws children like mine in….and sparks their imagination. After Daddy had read him a story, I went to kiss him goodnight and found him still pouring over the pictures.
“Mommy, Daddy read me the story about Jesus coming to the city and the people celebrating. We did that story last week at church.” He pointed to the pictures. As I began asking him questions he began flipping through looking at the subsequent illustrations.
“Yes, Corbin it is.”
“Mommy what are these flames over the people’s heads? It says….Holy….Spir…Spirit.”
“Well Corbin, after Jesus left Earth, he sent the Holy Spirit to stay with us.” He kept flipping until he came to the end of the book. “To be continued….” he read out loud. “Mommy what does that mean?”
I said, “Corbin, Jesus left Earth and went back to be in Heaven with God. However someday he is going to come back for us and that makes the story keep going. Loving him, praying to him and and waiting for his return makes us part of that story.”
And then he turned to “A Dream of Heaven.” In this book the Revelation of John is introduced and then the vision is depicted in poetry form, with a beautiful childlike drawing of man, beast and angel alike all bowing at the thrown of Jesus. Corbin said, “Mommy what is this!?”
Well, buddy after Jesus left, one of Jesus’ special disciples, John-
“John the Baptist?!”
“No, buddy, another one. There were two Johns. This John was sent to prison on an island for loving Jesus and telling people about him. So Jesus came to him and told him what it was going to be like when Jesus comes back. And John wrote it all down, and that is how we know what to look for and be ready for when Jesus does return for us.”
“But Mommy, Jesus is invisible! How did John see him?”
“That’s right. Jesus is invisible to us, but he chose to come and show himself to John. Sometimes he does that. Some people get to see Jesus and hear him talking to him…”
At this point my own heart was beginning to ache and I wanted to cry.
“Mommy, why doesn’t Jesus come show himself to us?”
(are you there yet? In that moment where your soul is screaming….mine was.)
“I don’t know Corbin. Mommy prays to Jesus everyday asking to hear his voice. He knows how much Mommy wants that. I don’t know why some people see him and other do not….”
And my sweet sensitive boy, who holds wisdom beyond his years smiled and with all his gusto said,
“It’s ok Mommy! You will get to see him soon! When you die you will see him and go to heaven and then when I die I will see him too!”
Please, do not attach your mind to the fact that my son use the word soon in the same sentence he spoke of my death, but please hear as I did the excited absolute assurance that while I have not heard my Savior’s audible voice or seen his face….I will see him, in all his glory… someday.
I relayed this story to my best friend a day later when she said…” Maybe God knows you don’t need it. Maybe he knows that you’ll trust him without the obvious….” I replied with some sort of sardonic comment about him having more faith than he should or that I’d probably just think it was an auditory hallucination….
But these conversations have stuck with me…..seeds that have found germination in my prayer and meditation preparing for Easter.
What is more important; my desire
for validation to be given through a miraculous display of divinity or a quiet resolve to follow despite my doubt and offer a testimony for those just like me?
The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.”
And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing. ” And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” John 20: 25-29
*Images from The Jesus Storybook Bible, by Sally Lloyd-Jones & Illustrated by Jago– copyright 2007