She knows she was so sick and we were scared she would die. She knows that she has to have MRIs for the rest of her life and that when I pray over her at night, I am constantly begging God to keep cancer away from her body. She knows this as well as she knows that she wants a pet cat and to be an art teacher when she grows up.
She knows that other children die, everyday. She knows that they don't grow up to be art teachers or astronauts. She knows because we cannot hide it from her; it is part of our family and our lives and our purpose. She knows things I wish I never knew. Lily knows evil exists and it is called childhood cancer and death and necrosis and brain tumors.
But Lily is never angry at God.
I am angry at God, more often than I'd like to admit.
In Matthew 18, we read about the disciplines asking Jesus who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
"Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven. Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me." (Matthew 18:3)
Lily turned 8 years old today. She has a beautiful spirit about her--a joy that comes from a blessed childhood filled with everything it should be filled with: family, friends, parties, sunshine, pool parties, playdates, toys, too much candy and imagination. Lily has that joy and more. The darkness that threatened her life is not her life. It is not something she carries with her to God. She welcomes God and Christ without bothering with the baggage.
When one says children are resilient--it is more than just that they are young and strong and hopeful. It is simply that they know how shove knowledge out of the way, so they can dwell in the sweet spot.
What did knowledge ever get our souls anyway?
I want to be that child. I want to welcome that child to infect my soul. I want to ditch everything I know. I want to bring myself, as this child of God, this child who lives in a beautiful world, to the kingdom of Heaven.
I want to be more like Lily.
This week, I will try my best to bring my best, most child-like self forward. I will bring the rainbows and leave the storm behind. I will bring to God what is his:
Happy Birthday, Lily. You inspire us everyday to live and love.
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