|Gray (6) with his older brother Derek|
enjoys the times he spends the night with us.
Because he loves the bedtime games we play,
he always goes to bed without a fuss.
Indeed, he bounces up the stairs with joy,
anticipating a "Good night" routine
well calculated to delight a boy
who knows his lines in this well-practiced scene.
So when we've finished all the games once more,
I say, "I think it's time to go to sleep."
And then I make a move toward the door.
But Gray, who knows just what to say to keep
me there, reminds me that I haven't yet
told him a story. "What about?" I ask.
He knows just what reply will always get
me to remain: "'bout Jesus!" That's a task
he knows I can't refuse. And so I smile
and take my seat again upon his bed.
Then, after I have thought a little while,
about the many things that I have said,
in all the stories I've already told
about the love of Jesus for us all,
I try to talk in words a six-year-old
will understand and later on recall.
One night, when I had told how Jesus had
raised Lazarus his good friend from the dead,
I thought, "How can I help this little lad
to deal with such a concept in his head?"
The two of us were soon deeply engrossed
in theological discussion. Gray
was listening intently, and was most
intrigued by everything I had to say
about how even though we cannot see
the Christ, we still can love him as a Friend,
unseen, but real. It is a mystery
a six-year-old would hardly comprehend,
one might have thought. "Gray, can you understand?"
He nodded, as I went on to explain.
"He's always here in spirit, and his hand
is reaching out to heal when we're in pain.
Wherever you may go, you can be glad
he'll be there when you need him. And if you
should ever do something you know is bad,
he will forgive you, if you ask him to,
because he loves you, Gray, and what is more
he'll be your Friend forever! Even when
|Gray (center) with his older|
brother Derek (L) and cousin Seth (R)
that you will be with him in heaven." Then,
I asked Gray what he thought of what I'd said,
as I stood up to go turn out the light.
My grandson, who was lying in the bed,
was wiggling with furious delight!
No wonder Jesus wants us all to turn
and be like little children in our praise.
For what we lukewarm Christians need to learn
is childlike trust and joy in Christ
* Gray, now 29, is completing his Ph.D. program in Astrophysics at
Columbia University. He is married and has a 2½-year-old son named
Gabriel. Now it's the stars that make him wiggle with furious delight!