Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3)These words of Christ call us to have the faith of a child. Too often, that is mischaracterized as a simplistic faith, a faith that ignores the complexities and struggles of real adult life. The trick, I think, lies not in ignoring those very real complexities but in being able to hold onto the both/and mindset that my son demonstrates daily. Oscar is sick. But someday he might not be, because all things are possible with God. So I will keep asking. The ultimate answer to his question is that yes, Oscar is still sick, but of course, Oscar will be healed one day. We believe in heaven, the continued life of the soul after death, and the ultimate resurrection of the body. In terms of a path to heaven, our chronically sick child, unable to sin and suffering a bodily ailment, has a wide head start on most of us poor wretches. I firmly believe he will get there and that he will be made whole when — not if — that happens. But how, then, do we pray in the meantime? What does having the faith of a child mean on this side of heaven? It means we ask and ask and ask. We ask not out of frustration, nor out of fear. We ask not because we think the answer we want is required or deserved. We ask because God asks us to bring Him the desires of our heart, as naturally as our children bring their desires to us. Mama, can I have a cookie? God, is Oscar still sick? We never stop asking, even if we feel sure already that the answer is no, because a child-like faith means the faith to believe that God’s answer is the perfect one, even when it’s not the desired one. A belief that God’s no does not indicate a lesser love for us, but simply a reaffirmation of the truth and goodness contained within his unfathomable design for Oscar’s life, and our own. Is Oscar still sick? Well, yes. Aren’t we all, in one way or another? But couldn’t he not be, despite what the best of medical science seems to tell us? Absolutely, son. God’s will be done.
Copyright 2019 Christy Wilkens
About the Author
Christy Wilkens is a full-time mother and part-time armchair philosopher who lives in Austin, TX, but wishes she lived in Lourdes. She is a wife and mom to six kids, all of whom are special (but some are specialer than others). She writes about special needs, faith, doubt, suffering, and good reads. Find out more about her at FaithfulNotSuccessful.com.