Today’s Word from Pastor Tom Kidd…
Vivian is two and a half. I love her. My granddaughter, she lives in Idaho, up in the mountains. I love her. Oh, you know that? Yes, I suppose I have mentioned her a time or two in these blogs. Is that a problem? Good.
Anyway, she and I gather almost daily via FaceTime. We play peek-a-boo a lot. There is almost always a squeal when one of us uncovers our face with a “Peek-a-boo, I see youuuuu!” I really, really treasure these simple times of innocent play. Given that our parents would have seen our children maybe once a year when they were young, Brenda and I consider ourselves the beneficiaries of this high-tech age. No question, we are grateful. But as with every two-year-old, a giggle one second can turn into a meltdown the next. And it does not matter one iota that Papa is watching her through the magic screen. Nope! An adorable pipe curled angel morphs into a “throw myself on the floor spilling my milk screaming for who knows what in a nanosecond little pooper. Yep, and I get to watch it all.
“When I was a child I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I grew up, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am now fully known. And these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” I Corinthians 13:11-13
You know, sometimes I wonder how my granddaughter views me? She smiles when she sees me (mostly) but her awareness of me is pretty limited. She looks at this “all too quickly becoming old” man through the eyes of a child. What does she see? Though she obviously lacks words at this point in her life to describe me, what I hope she sees is love. I know I love her unconditionally.
Isn’t that just how it is with God? While we can act as a petulant child, God looks at us with love. God’s character (eloquently described by Paul in the first portion of Ch. 13) is fundamentally love. Our attempts to see God, though, are at best like looking into a fogged-up mirror. We are the temporal trying to see the infinite, the creation trying to understand the Creator. At best we capture a glimpse of God… in a baby’s joy, in a serene sunrise, in a beautiful, selfless act of life-giving generosity, in a mathematical formula that leaves us in awe of the universe, in a Word preached or read that fills us with a hope. We see but a dim reflection. But then, then we will see face to face, then we will know fully even as we are already fully known. I find great encouragement in this promise.
I think of that promise often when life is the pits. I relish, if not sometimes embarrassingly so, the thought of God watching me as a toddler of faith. Sometimes I can be the person of faith God hopes for me to ascend to, yet most of the time God is loving me as I descend into my childish nature. Gradually, over time, we grow up into
the person of faith who, with trepidation, becomes convinced this life is just part, a small part, of a larger life God has mapped out for us. One day we will know as fully even as we are already fully known. Until that day we rest in the abiding knowledge we are as loved as a child can be loved. Can that be enough?
Every day we are closer to seeing more fully.