Saturday mornings meant coffee and cartoons. Coffee for me. Cartoons for him.
On one particularly rainy Saturday, as my sweet baby boy swayed sleepily in his swing chair, I watched his face light up with a smile. I followed his line of sight to the television. There was a handicapped boy wearing a bright red t-shirt sitting in a wheelchair. This boy was smiling too. If not laughing, joyfully.
As I watched my son’s reaction, I experienced three distinct emotions: adoration at his innocence; heartache for the boy who would have to live his life in a wheelchair; and guilt for being grateful that our son was in a swing chair. This guilt deepened until it was foremost in my mind.
As the screen changed and my son seemed less impressed with the rest of the show and relented to his heavy eyes, I considered the way Jesus challenged his disciples to have childlike faith. ‘People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.’ (Lu. 18:15-17)
I remember the feeling of wonderment as a child when I listened to the Bible stories – the parting of the Red Sea; Hannah’s miracle baby; Samson’s “magical” hair. I remember singing Jesus Loves Me and Father Abraham and never having a doubt that Jesus did love me – yes, even me – and that I will forever me part of Abraham’s family line of promise through faith. God creating the world in seven days was not only possible, it was fact, because He was God – is God – and He’s HUMONGOUS.
My son didn’t know anything about the boy on the screen besides that he had a bright smile. That was all that mattered. There was no sense that he was healthier than the boy in the wheelchair, let alone that there was also a racial difference between them - even though the boy in the wheelchair had deep brown skin and my son is so fair he is almost pink. None of that mattered...
And nor should it.
God lovingly created both these boys and Jesus sacrificially died for both of them. Should they accept this gift, the Holy Spirit will reside in both of them and as far as the Trinity are concerned, they are neither worse nor better than each other. They are both unequivocally loved.
‘Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.’
Cast your mind back – do you remember that place that seemed so big? That person who seemed so unapproachable, if not even scary? Do you remember that part of the garden you thought magical? Do you remember a toy friend you thought could talk?
Now, can you imagine how big God was to you way back then? Or would have been, should you have known Him?
Well, He hasn’t changed. His Word says He’s the same yesterday, today, tomorrow and always. Sometimes it's just our adult perspective that needs shifting...
‘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.’
Elizabeth Chapman is the founder of Daughters of Love & Light. She lives in Adelaide with her husband and young son and she is currently studying a Master of Divinity. She's an avid tea drinker, Jane Austen reader, and novice historian. Her upcoming novel The Watson Women will be released 20 August 2021. She also blogs about her historical adventures at www.reformationfascination.wordpress.com