The Younger Boy’s relationship with God is one that amazes and mystifies me. His faith is ever-present, and he has a strong love for God. He will often tell me that he loves God more than anything and everything, from ice cream and television to me and The Husband. God is more than Philip’s Father and Creator, He is his best friend.
I am thrilled that this child knows God. I am ecstatic that He is first in The Younger Boy’s life. I am joyful that He is The Younger Boy’s best friend. But, I am also bewildered. The Younger Boy seems to have a very casual relationship with God, and I’m not quite sure how to feel about this. Sometimes, his words and actions seem irreverent, but I know his heart belongs to Jesus. I know, in his heart, he is not being disrespectful. He is treating God as his friend.
Last night, we went to a church event, and as usual, The Younger Boy wanted to sit in the first pew. As it is, we sit in the front of church, and I would have no problem sitting in the first pew if I knew the boys could behave themselves. But, they don’t behave. They wiggle, whisper, fidget, wave to their friends, and whine about being “boooored.” So, his wish was vetoed, and we sat in our usual spot. Immediately, he began to whine, which makes me absolutely crazy. To distract him, I told him to say some prayers. He dutifully knelt down, bowed his head, and quietly said the following: “Dear God, why can’t we ever sit in the front???? I really want to, and she never lets me! Well? Well?” Then he let out a huge sigh, slouched in the pew and whispered, “He never answers me when I want Him to…” His tone was one of defeat but not disrespect. His friend wouldn’t talk to him, and The Younger Boy was hurt. Whereas I would’ve been surprised to get an immediate answer to a prayer, he was surprised that he didn’t get an answer. That says a lot about his faith. There was no doubt as to whether or not his prayer was heard. There wasn’t even a question as to why his prayer wasn’t answered. He had faith that his prayer was heard. He was just upset that his friend wasn’t talking to him.
This is not the first time I’ve encountered the casualness of The Younger Boy’s relationship with God. One day, while walking through the church, he passed the tabernacle and said, “What up, Jesus?” He then genuflected, paused, and giggled, as though he heard something we didn’t. I started to get angry, I even scolded him for being so disrespectful. He looked genuinely confused. He couldn’t figure out what wrong was committed; in his mind, he didn’t do anything bad, he was just greeting his friend. The Priest was with us and said to not worry about Philip’s casual greeting, as long as it was heartfelt. He reminded me that “Jesus loves the little children.” (I love the little children too, but that doesn’t mean that they don’t drive me crazy.)
Although The Younger Boy seems to have a casualness in dealing with our Father, he also is constantly in awe of Him. He will often wonder aloud about God’s creations. On the way to school one day, I heard the following: “Mom, did you know that the sun is HUGE?!? And we have bunches of planets and stars and moons in our solar system. And, God made all that!!! Isn’t that amazing? He made everything. Even you and me. Even bugs. <giggles> I bet you don’t like that, huh?”
All of this has made me come to one conclusion…Philip has a real relationship with God. God is not unreachable, unattainable, or faraway. He is with The Younger Boy at all times, in a very real way. That’s why Philip treats the relationship so casually, it’s a regular part of his life. Think about those closest to you–your spouse, parents, siblings, friends, etc. You have a casual relationship with them; they are not faraway ideas. They are real, tangible people who you can love, talk to, lean on. That’s how my relationship with God should be. Real. Tangible. Close. A true love that is ever-present, genuine, concrete, not conceptual or idealistic. I should speak to Him; I should lean on Him. I know He is real, yet I don’t treat Him as such.
Once again, I’ve learned something from the six-year-old. I’m not ashamed to say that this is not rare. The kid’s pretty smart. After all, he’s the wise one who told me, “You know what God did?!? He made my heart big big, and now He’s fillin’ it with love!”
Yes, yes He did.
***All images from www.turnbacktogod.com***