“Does Jesus heal our ouchies?”
It’s one of those moments when abstract spirituality meets bruises and scraped knees, and my son wonders with the sort of innocent curiosity possessed only by a three-year-old.
I hear myself answering him before I even stop to think about what I should say.
A baby born too soon was dying too soon.
His parents were grieving the end of his life just as it was beginning. Hundreds around the world joined their voices in prayer for his life. I watched this story unfold on the other side of my computer screen.
I was trying to sell my house that summer. I asked friends to pray with me that it would sell quickly, but I couldn’t imagine that mattered nearly as much as the baby boy who was dying too quickly. If there was any sort of justice in earth or in heaven, my prayers would fall to the bottom of God’s to-do list. I prayed them anyways.
I prayed for the baby boy too.
He died that same week, just a few days old.
After that, I couldn’t bring myself to ask people to join me in praying that the house would sell. If thousands had prayed for this baby boy and he’s gone, what good would it do to pray for something as mundane as a real-estate transaction in a depressed rural market?
That house still hasn’t sold.
I was watching the news this week, out of the corner of my eye.
I saw a story about a tree that fell on a house, destroying the roof. The news cameras rolled over little boy’s bedroom; a giant branch pierced right through the middle of the six-year-old’s bed. He wasn’t in his bed at the time. His mom said that angels much have been watching over them.
The next story was about a tragedy at a hot-air balloon rally. The basket had burst into flames, quickly engulfing the balloon. Those on solid ground said they could hear the passengers screaming, “’Help me, help me, sweet Jesus, help, I’m going to die!”
But as the passengers fell to their deaths (or did they leap? no one knows) there were no angels. No one broke their fall.
Not one sparrow falls to the ground without the Father knowing it. But still, they fall.
Does Jesus heal our ouchies?
It’s an innocent question, and I’m sure my son doesn’t understand all that he’s asking. My faith feels weak these days, so my answer is as honest as I can muster:
“Sometimes He does.”
I wish I could say yes, always. But faith, if it is anything at all, must be honest. This is the only sort of faith I can hope to pass along to my son. So I grip this tiny mustard seed a little tighter, and hope that it is enough.
[ image: Ryan Dickey ]
Originally published on A Deeper Story – (June 2014)
published March 11, 2015
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