As a child I talked to Jesus all the time ~ especially when I was sick, which was at least a couple months a year. I got strep throat with every change of weather. My nose tickled for weeks at a time. I was constantly scrunching up my face, twisting my mouth, and wiggling my nose to try to make it stop. So I was give yucky-tasting yellow medicine to get rid of my “tic.” I had terrific allergies, but no one realized that was the cause.
Banished to bed for weeks at a time, I read a lot and lived in my imagination. Often I’d stretch out on the bed, curtains wide open on my large window, and talk to Jesus. By day I’d ask if he was riding a particularly fluffy cloud. By night I’d ask if that bright star was him and was he coming down to earth.
I’ve no idea where these thoughts and questions came from. When I was 4 my parents joined a Presbyterian church where I was baptized. I went to Sunday School – or I think I did. Though I have a pretty good memory and remember things about my toddler years that surprise even my family, I have zero recollection of classes. I do remember standing in church next to my mother and loving when we’d sing the Doxology. The organ thundered the powerful, lively music; and I thought Mom’s voice was lovely. But I have no memory of actually being in children’s classes.
We didn’t discuss Sunday morning sermons at home. In fact, Sunday was the day my father would take me and my girlfriends (Catholic, so we weren’t in church together) for banana splits or sundaes at the ice cream stand in town.
So church and the Bible were not part of my daily fare. I did go to Vacation bible School summers when I’d visit cousins in Oklahoma (hence these ancient bookends). And one Christmas I was given a children’s Bible story book ~ typical narrative recounting of Bible miracles. The book long ago met its demise in a flood or a flurry of mother’s spring cleaning. I have no idea how accurate the stories were.
As apparently minimal as my exposure to God was, in my heart we were close. I knew He was near, watched over me, and listened when I talked to him. How does one explain this?
I believe it’s a God thing. God never ignores a sincere seeker and is particularly tender with children. I believe he communicates with them in ways they can understand. And in Psalm 73:23 Asaph says he is always with God, so close that God holds Asaph’s right hand. That sounds as reasonable to me as any reason that I sensed God so intimately. And maybe that’s why, despite efforts to force me to use my other hand, I grew up left-handed!
Looking over your life, can you see: Was God ever taking care of you ~ even though you didn’t see it at the time?
I’m praying we have the vision to see God at work in our lives, our families, our world. Would love if you’d share ways you’ve seen God’s presence when you look back.