“Do you know Gawd?”
Arched back, hands on hips, lips puckered, the question comes from knee high, completely out of the blue. I look down at his upturned face. A light saber pulsates in his hand with Darth Vader’s ragged breathing.
He’s only three, but he pronounces Gawd like the great-grandfather he never knew. The same awe, deep throated distinction separates that word from all other words. And I love it because with all my heart I want him to love God as deeply as his great-grandpa’s legacy would inspire.
Great Grandpa possessed the kind of God-love that lived and died in the same way. Skeletons left behind were the physical kind, dust to dust, of a life lived long, hard, and with integrity. He won’t be remembered for the money he made or the orator he was, but the hole left is one of steadiness and honesty. The kind of legacy built with humble hands and cement blocks on the shore of a muddy Ecuadorian river. A legacy that left behind comfort and home so others might learn of heaven.
With the word Gawd as the backdrop and the light saber still pulsating red, I remembered a story, one of those real-live missionary stories Grandpa told of a day when the cupboards were bare and the money from the mission hadn’t come. A younger version of he and his wife, watched their four children playing outside through the kitchen window. At the table they folded their hands and prayed for food.
When they lifted their eyes, two strangers paddled a boat on shore and came toward the house holding two chickens, upside down.
Grandpa rushed out to wave them off. “I don’t have money,” he insisted.
“Dios told us to bring these to you,” the man with the big felt hat responded.
The chickens were thrust into my astonished father-in-law’s hands, and the men returned to their boat, never to be seen again.
I look down at my grandson’s puckered brow. I am humbled by the simplicity of his concerned blue eyes and drawn to the purity of his question. It centers me again with what really matters.
When the Christian world is rocked by giants who fall and those skeletons which remain are incongruent with their image, “Do you know Gawd?” strikes a powerful chord.
It is unsettling to find people we look up to have been less than what they seemed. It makes us cynical and unsettled.
Rather, such news should bring us to our knees, position us eye level with the humility of a child. It ought to bring us face to face, eye to eye with fallibility and our desperate need for the gospel to transform us every day of our lives. We ought to grieve over sin but then run into the arms of God who is able to keep us from falling.
As parents, may it plunge us into His Word and consequently cause us to hold on to Jesus with every fiber of our beings.
People will fail. God never will. What a precious and sacred legacy to perpetuate.
Within family relationships, to live and die with truth on our lips, lived out by our actions, is a priceless gift and a rich heritage. It testifies of an able God. Able to save. Able to keep.
I remember my father-in-law’s enormous calloused hands and deep voice as I look at my grandson with a little drool about to drop from his bottom lip, and his wide blue eyes waiting for me to answer.
I smile down at my old-soul in a little-body grandson. “Yes,” I assure him. “I know God.”
Satisfied, he turns and runs off with a mighty shout and saber flashing.
To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.Jude 24-25 (NIV)