Every weekend, I ask my six-year-old niece Devon to give me the highlights of her school week. She tells me about the elaborate plans she and her friend Sammy make to call each other when they get home from school. (Devon is all business as she takes these calls on the rotary phone in her room.) She tries to pronounce the latest words for me that she's learned in Spanish. (But she can't remember what they mean.) Last week she said her teacher asked the class to draw pictures of what they would ask Jesus if they got to sit on his lap. I asked her what she drew. “Well, first I would tell him that I love him SO much and that he is the king of kings,” Devon says. “But what I really want to ask him is how many lines are there around the sun.” She means that she wants to know exactly how many lines she should draw on her art pictures representing the sun’s rays. She said she asked her brother how many there were and he said twelve, but she’s still not sure and she would like the final word from Jesus himself.
|"Mary Most Holy" by Charles Bosseron Chambers|
I was enthralled by the miniseries, “The Bible” that aired on the History channel recently and concluded on Easter. As I watched the stories of the Bible portrayed with a fresh perspective, I thought about them differently. I grew up in the church. I’ve been going to Sunday school since I was a baby. The stories of the Bible are so familiar to me that I sometimes forget these ordinary people had questions too, for God. Moses asked God if he was sure he chose the right person to lead Israel when he was such a poor speaker. Mary wondered why God chose a simple girl like her to be the mother of the son of God. These ordinary people living their everyday lives were changed by their extraordinary experiences with God. But it still didn't answer all their questions.
When I was growing up, my questions for God were more like requests. I asked God why I didn’t have a best friend like I read about in my favorite books. Like Trixie Belden and her best friend Honey. And Nancy Drew and her best friends Bess and George. These girl heroines and their friends solved mysteries, traveled the world on exciting adventures and belonged to secret clubs. That was the kind of best friend I wanted. And I didn't think any of my friends were candidates to meet these unrealistic requirements.
|"Light of the World" by Charles Bosseron Chambers|
Now my questions for God are different. I want to know if the direction I’m heading – personally, professionally and spiritually – is the right one. I want to know why things don't work out the way I think they should. My heart is pulled to what I think is missing. When actually nothing is. Just like the friends who were there all along while I was growing up. Even if one of them didn’t live up to my schoolgirl image of the perfect best friend. God isn't fazed by my questions. Even though I might not find the answers. I can’t stop trusting. And I can't stop moving forward. I don’t know how many lines there are around the sun. Devon asks me if I know and I tell her I don’t. But she draws them anyhow. Even though she doesn’t know the answer. She picks up a crayon and keeps on coloring.