This morning Leah tried explaining to our 3-year-old, Henry, that his Uncle Justin was her big brother. Just like he’s a big brother to our 3-month-old, Jane. For whatever reason this made him angry. He crossed his arms and shouted, “No!” and explained Justin was his Uncle Justin. The half cute, half annoying exchange went back and forth a couple times and ended with neither party seeing eye to eye.
Henry, on account of his tiny little brain, has a very narrow theology of Justin. He’s his uncle. The end. Any other belief of who Justin is, or how they lay claim to him is wrong. Cross arms, furrow brow, shut down the conversation.
Is faith like a child always a good thing?
I think many of us have toddler theology when it comes to how we lay claim on God. We believe there’s one way to view who he is and how he relates to us. Our way. And every other way is dumb. Hence all the furrowed-brow arguments amongst religions’ pundits. And the 10 billion different denominations within each religion.
Henry’s cuteness this morning came from his adorable ignorance. At a certain age ignorance is no longer cute. And at any age furrowed brows, crossed arms and stubborn beliefs are ugly. And annoying.
Uncle Justin is a big guy. Big enough to be a brother, uncle, son, nephew, grandson, friend, co-worker, etc.
God is pretty big too. Bigger than our cute little toddler brains can understand. Bigger than the adorable boxes we make for Him, Her, Father, Mother, Uncle, Aunt, Brother, Sister, Buddy, Co-Pilot, etc.
Big enough to just be.
Photo (Flickr CC) by Thomas Hawk