Mommy almost murdered Papa today. I’d like to believe I’m using hyperbole to immediately engage you in this story. However, mothers are capable of anything when they feel their children are in danger. She searched caves, a forest, even the belly of a whale when she thought something had happened to you. Taking a life to save yours isn’t outside the realm of possibilities.
But, let me explain.
As a group, Novation Church spent the afternoon at City Museum, a museum so great it shouldn’t even be called a museum. There’s no way to adequately describe City Museum. Like God himself, it must be experienced, and the experience will so impact you that you will immediately run out, tell all your friends how amazing it is, and that they must experience it with you. Just ask Dustin Dean.
It’s a building in the middle of downtown St. Louis filled with refurbished industrial materials, castles, airplanes, ball pits, sumo wrestlers, caves, tree houses, an aquarium, tunnels, trains, sword swallowers and acrobats, a Ferris Wheel, rope swings, a vault with 1000 safe deposit boxes, a shoe lace factory, a whole floor that’s said to be haunted, and a slide that will take you from the roof to…well, you’ll just have to see for yourself.
City Museum is an exciting place. But it’s also a dangerous place. Like most of life, the most wonderful and exciting places are also the most dangerous.
So I had to watch you, hold your hand, carry you, and even remove you from various dangers throughout the day. At one point, Papa walked with you as you explored the inside of a great white whale. Mommy and I were following from a distance. You wandered into the side opening of the whale, and then back out again. You laughed and smiled each time you “disappeared” and then “reappeared.” Mommy and I had a ten second conversation about how much longer we were going to stay at City Museum as you “disappeared” again.
Only this time you didn’t reappear.
I was perplexed. I couldn’t figure out what hole or trap door you and Papa had slipped through. I started laughing, as City Museum had surprised me yet again. This was not the correct response to the situation, and my laughter was cut short by your mother’s panic.
“Where is he?” she demanded. “Where did they go? I don’t like this. I don’t like not knowing where my son is.”
“He’s fine,” I assured her. “He’s with my dad.”
She was not assured.
“He can’t do this! He can’t just run off with him without telling me!”
Your mom took off, climbing the trees, searching the caves, even backtracking through the whale. I’ve never seen that look in her eyes, and I hope to never see it again. I don’t know where she went when she suggested we split up, but I went back toward the caves, knowing it was your favorite part of the museum.
I rounded the corner and there the two of you were, smiling and exploring. “Where’d you go, Lewis?” I asked you. “Cherie is going to kill you,” I warned Papa.
It turns out, you climbed down into a hole that took you under the whale, a hole we somehow overlooked it. You guys wound your way through a few other caverns and crannies before reemerging at the mouth of the cave where I found you.
Right as Papa finished recounting your adventure your mom fell upon us. She scooped you up, and, tears in her eyes, carried you to the trees, holding you close as she wept.
Papa found us a few minutes later. He sat next to mommy, and with his arm around her said, “I would never do anything to hurt him. I wouldn’t have let anything happen to him. I was with him the whole time.”
Lewis, your mommy loves you. That’s why she was scared. Don’t tell her this, but I think she over-reacted. I think she worried over nothing. At no point was I afraid for you, Lewis. Do you know why?
Because I knew Papa was with you.
Mommy loves Papa, and she trusts him. But she’s only known him for about six years. I’ve spent thirty-one years of my life with him. We’ve explored the world together. We’ve done everything from climb rock faces in Israel to spearing frogs in the swamps of Kentucky. We’ve gotten lost in London and found friends in Mexico. I know what it’s like to explore and live life with Papa.
That’s why I felt no fear.
Lewis, there is going to come a day when you will disappear from my view and from my reach and from my protection. Maybe you’ll leave home at almost 18 like I did and move across the country. Maybe you’ll go to Russia when you’re 22 to preach the Gospel. I don’t know what God has for you, but I know it’s not to remain by my and your mom’s side.
Wherever you go, Lewis, your life will be in God’s hands. I wasn’t scared today because I’ve lived and experienced life with Papa. That’s why I want so desperately to live life with God, experience life with Him, and learn to trust Him with my life so that I can better trust Him with yours.
When someone asks, “How could you let your son go to [insert dangerous city here], or become a [insert wild vocation], or do [insert audacious objective],” I will tell them: “Experience has shown me God can take care of him.”
What a great, exciting, dangerous day! Things are good between mommy and Papa. Hopefully this experience will show her she can trust him. Hopefully I’m faithful enough to trust God the same way the next time He does something scary.
Thank you for continuing to help me grow in my understanding of God, Lewis. I love you. So does your mom. So does Papa. But God loves you more.
Do you have trouble trusting God with the lives of your kids, spouse, parents and friends?
Could it be you yourself haven’t lived and experienced life with God in such a way that you know him to be Protector and Preserver?
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