The theme of mutual belonging between ourselves and God is repeated throughout both Testaments. When we search for joy, comfort and security outside this covenant relationship, we are setting our sights too low—infinitely so. We become afraid when we fail to fully understand or to internalize the reality of being treasured by God (see Dt 7:7–8). Jesus teaches us to concentrate on God’s fatherly care: He both can and will provide for his own (see Mt 6:25–33). This knowledge—more certain than any guarantees from our government’s most trusted agencies—forms the basis for our wise and generous investment of ourselves in his kingdom.
Dr. Diane Komp, a pediatric oncologist who has over many years witnessed in small children evidences of this assurance of belonging to God, relates the following vignette:
I heard a story recently about a three-year-old who wanted to spend time with his new baby brother. “I want to be alone with the baby,” he insisted. We can only wonder what concerns of sibling rivalry raced through his parents’ minds as they listened to this modest but pregnant request.
The child was so earnest that they allowed him to remain alone in the room with the sleeping baby. With a sense of awe, he gently touched the sleeping baby and then begged quietly, “You’ve got to tell me about God. I’m beginning to forget already.”
Parents or religious instructors are not their true teachers. This holy imagination, a sense of spiritual origins, is intuitive in the very young. It is as if a veil descends thereafter, leaving the pilgrim in search of ways to reconnect. We older pilgrims must seek others who know the Story to tell us, too, if we would learn to hope.
Sometimes, as death approaches, the veil seems to lift in part, giving hints of that beyond, visions of angels, of Jesus, of heaven. Most of us are pilgrims in between, living with a sense of déjà; vu, groping our way back to God.
Dr. Komp goes on:
In her book, Chasing the Dragon, Jackie Pullinger tells a remarkable story about a four-year-old Chinese boy who was pronounced dead after a drowning incident.
Later, he woke and told his mother of a man who had held out his hand and pulled him out of the water. His mother asked him if he knew the man’s name, assuming that it was the headmaster of the school where the accident had occurred. “Don’t you know?” replied the boy. “It’s Jesus.”
This family had fled from mainland China to Taiwan and never had contact with Christians. His mother, who had never before heard the name of Jesus, became a Christian as a result of this child’s experience.
Father God, help me to see you as a father and to trust in your care.