My daughter is small. She has been breathing the air of this planet for a little over eight months, but she is still small. She crouches on her feet like a catcher. Her eyes study her fingers like machines far below maneuvering through the waves rippling in the carpet. Then without warning her legs begin to straighten and she stands up. Her eyes are wide as she looks over at me, almost asking what has happened. I shrug my shoulders and smile. She looks down and back up somewhat astonished with the fact that she is not falling.
My son explains to me that Jesus is NOT God, but that they are friends. My son continues to expound Christological heresies while his small bottom swims around in his oceanic dinner chair. He’s a cute heretic. I cite the song “Praise God” (the Doxology) as proof for my argument that Jesus is in fact God, explaining that the Son became Jesus and was born by Mary. He’s skeptical, and continues to run with the friendship argument. After one more attempt I inform him that he’s wrong and that he must accept that Jesus is God. This is the domestic version of conversion by the sword. My voice indicates that the only acceptable response is “yes sir” and he cheerfully acquiesces. Yet another victory for Christendom.
My daughter used to be in the living room. She was there when I looked last. That was five seconds ago. She crawls. She crawls proficiently. But she is not a sprinter. I’m not sure why she’s no longer in the living room and no where in sight. A moment later my son arrives with the missing piece of the puzzle. More to the point, he’s holding the missing piece under the arms and carrying her manfully through the house. She has a look on her face that is a cross between very pleased and terrified. She loves her brother. He’s her hero. If she were a teenager, posters of her brother doing all sorts of masculine things would decorate her walls. He would be smashing bugs and ants in one picture. In another he would be gallantly riding his stick horse (“Galloping Jack”) down the hallway waving a sword and shouting insults at his villainous enemies. Felicity spends most of her days playing next to and following her brother from toy to toy.
“Read the one about plucking the children’s eyes out!” My son loves the Proverbs. After he heard Proverbs 30:17 there was no going back. Actually, now every time we pull the Bible out, he wants to hear his favorite verse. It really is a fascinating proverb: “The eye that mocks his father and scorns obedience to his mother will be plucked out by the ravens of the valley and eaten by baby eagles.” It’s sort of like the Circle of Life. Only not. Of course it’s one thing for a child’s eye to get the brunt of disobedience, that’s pretty wild. But it’s another thing entirely for the Holy Spirit to explain exactly what will happen to it. A raven will get it, and then, apparently having made a covenant with a local eagle family, will drop a snack off at his favorite, local eyry. My son knows a good story when he hears it.