In the category of cuteness, our five year old grandson seems to have received a double helping. A sprinkle of freckles adorns a button nose, just below brown eyes that are curious and thoughtful. And he is heart stoppingly cuddly.
It is another quality, though, that I cherish above the ones that make me smile at his lovableness: For such a little one, he seems to have an unusual connection with God.
He frequently inserts God into conversation, as if he thinks about him a lot and likes to make sure that we don't forget about him.
This week Peter is home with his two youngest children as Sue is in Ottawa with the two oldest, at camp. They came over for the afternoon after church on Sunday, which gave Peter a bit of a break, and was also a chance for us to have a good talk; something we always enjoy.
The conversation ran to a book I had read recently; a book which has some controversial aspects. Peter, who hasn't read it, eyed me guardedly when I said I had enjoyed it and that it had reinforced and revealed some aspects of God's character in a different way.
"What do you mean, 'some aspects of God's character in a different way?'" he asked with one eyebrow arching ever so slightly. And I began to feel some pressure to explain well.
I said, "Well, the book revealed the lengths that God will go to in order to make himself accessible to people who might be closed to him otherwise, because of the hurts they have suffered."
"Go on," said my watchful son.
"It's like Jesus coming in the flesh--as a man, so that we could relate to him and be in relationship--in contrast with the "God of Mount Sinai" who seemed so far away from the people; separated by peals of thunder and smoke and fire."
"But he is the same God," said Peter, "Not two different Gods."
A slight tension crept in as mutual understanding evaded us, which I knew was silly, because I knew that in fact, we both were agreed on every point.
It was at just then that I noticed, with a little embarrassment, Littlest Grandson observing us closely.
"You are making God happy," he said, "Because you are talking about him."
"Sweetie, you are right," I said. And my heart melted.
(The book I was describing to Peter, was, The Shack by William P. Young.)
John 10:3-5 (New International Version)
3The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice."