Jan 8, 2015

Oh Happy Day

This little boy of ours was baptized last week.  Daddy was the proud one to get the honors of baptizing him.  Hunter has been asking about baptism and we have been having discussions about the gospel since the summer when he chose to follow Jesus.  For life.  
He takes it all so seriously, and soaks it all in with wide eyes and questions.  Truly the faith of a child is so uncomplicated, pure and simplistic.  Hunter has the whole rest of his life to unravel this marvelous calling and gift we call the gospel.  He grows internally and silently, with occasional clarifying questions and then informs me later of his decisions and opinions after he has sorted them out in his head.  
This is how his desire to follow God went down:
After camp this summer I asked him what he learned about God.  I received some "ahhhs" and "ummms" in response.  Great.  Well, that spiritual part of camp was certainly a wash.  At least he had fun to to the tune of $400 where all he could talk about was who was champion in some frisbee game.  That was an expensive frisbee game, kid.  
Then I sent him to a Vacation Bible School where he declared it boring.  Super.  This summer seemed a strikeout along spiritual lines.  I kept shipping him off all five days anyways.
Much to my surprise in October when someone (I don't even remember who because that's not the point of this story) asked a group of kids at our co-op if they had ever made a decision to follow Jesus.  Hunter casually and assuredly raised his hand. 

Hello, what?  

When I prodded, because hello, this is momentous, he replied, "Oh yeah, I learned all about the gospel at camp, and then prayed at Vacation Bible School."  
Mom talk took over. "How? Why? Can you explain what you mean?  Details!"
And it all came tumbling out in his simple language.  And I guess that around here, the gospel is so entrenched and discussed in everything we do, he just assumed that I assumed it was a done deal for him and is an obvious thing to do.

Except that I know something he will grow to know.  The gospel is personal.  It is not a done deal because you grew up in a family that discusses it all the time and stakes their every bit of breath on it.  Once you make it your own, you have to hang on for a ride. This gospel of new life from former death will wreck your life in all the best of ways and take you down to the depths to reach the highest of heights.

Hunter read his testimony before he was baptized.  It was simple, sweet and ernest.  There was much joy as both grandparents watched and cheered.  This ernest search for God will take him places one can only guess at.  We all know it.  We all cheer as he begins this journey.  This faith walk with God.  It's the best one ever and the only one worth anything.  

I often pray a prayer for my children that they will choose wisely their Master, mate and mission in life. Hunter has chosen his master who will in turn set him on a mission designed just for him.  I pray for their future spouse who join on this journey if God wills it.

I'll also share with you a secret that some don't understand.  I really don't pray for much else than they follow the Lord all their days and live their life as a servant of His love to the world, which I call their "mission" which is manifested slightly different for each person God designs.  
I know, I know. 
 There are such things as health, money, jobs, safety, and community which I also pray for, but only as God sees fit to bring him into a life lived with love.  I would see it as a tragedy if my children find themselves living all their days in a white, middle-class, protected, untouched by hardships, first world life. Full of comforts, impacting no one, bubbled from the hurting world around them.

 I want my kids to rub shoulders with all peoples and find the beauty in all humanity. 
To know hardships that make you cling to the Lord, 
To have their faith tested by fire and find that it is true, 
To not be fettered with judgement of others, but find grace for all.  
To know what it is to be in need and see the Lord walk with them.  
To see them put some skin in the game when it comes to living sacrificially, and be blessed by others in turn just as richly.  
To find that when there are times of surplus, it is a time to give and in a thousand ways find that you need as much in return. 

This to me is a full life.  This is a life worth living and can be found anywhere in any circumstance.  This is the life I pray that God unleashes as He teaches my kids love and service to the world around them. But I also know something: often the Lord has to break us in hardships to get us to this life.  My son is not really mine, but God's and if he must be broken, then may the Lord do anything to bring him here.
Sometimes life has to leave you flat out gasping as you climb DOWN the rung so God can show you the depth and breath and true joy of His love for me and for the world from the bottom up.

Oh Happy Day.  This life would not be possible without the happy day when Jesus washed my sins away and set me free to live a life worth living full of love and without fear.  This is the prayer I pray as I watch my son declare his first baby step into this wonderful joy we call life with God.

Oh Happy Day!


  1. Again Jenny, right on the money! Such joy! Such tears in the reading and the truth of it! XO

  2. What a great day to celebrate! I love the first pic!