Friday, April 01, 2011

The Joy of Faithlessness

I was tucking my son in last night in his polar bear pajamas in his tiny bed, putting away his dinosaurs that scare him at night, leaning down for one last skinny-arm hug. "Quedate no mas" he said. I can't, I told him. Octavius is little and he needs a bottle; I have to go. "Yo no soy chiquitito, soy grande" he said, making tiny fists, clenching the muscles in his arms. So big, I said. He was suddenly quiet. "Why don't I see angels anymore now that I'm a big boy?"
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I shoot from the hip when I talk to my son. I said that God wants us to have faith in him, and that faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see. If you could see God and angels, I said, you wouldn't have faith. Entiendes?
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He's gracious with me. "Yeah," he said, "I understand." And someday you won't need faith at all, I said. Someday you'll see God face to face. He considered this. "God lives in a palace in the sky? That is very strange." Yeah, I said. It is very strange. "And he's making a room for me in his palace?" Yeah Flaco. There is a room for you. "Do you think he will paint a pteradactyl on the wall? Eso si me gustaria." I think that's a nice idea. I ran my fingers through his blond hair, wincing. "I think Loli's room should have a painting of a hen on the wall." Oh Flaco, she would love a hen. "When is Loli going to die?" Heart stopping, in my throat; I shoot from the hip but I try not to lie. I don't know, Flaco. But you don't have to think about that, not at all. Estamos en las manos de Dios.
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It got worse. "Will I have bruises?" What? "When I die, will I have bruises like Jesus? When they killed him." He's three, he's three, I thought. He's only three.
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Flaco, when you die, God will come and take you by the hand, and say "Come home, mijo." It is nothing bad. "Okay." A pause. "Me va a llamar mijo?" Yeah, he'll call you mijo.
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Octavius was finished with his bottle; I could hear Matt at the sink. I covered my son up again and kissed his little face. Duermete no mas, I said. Eyes burning. Te amo. He closed his brown eyes and I stepped out to the darkened staircase, heart turned upside down and sinking like lead, telling myself not to be afraid. I reached for faith as if it were something substantial to hold, while realizing for the first time that the only reason it has any value at all is because it will one day it will cease to exist.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are something Jenny!!! I love you all so much. Thank you for sharing a beautiful glimpse into things that matter so much! BG

Naomi said...

Jenny, I never though a blog could both bring tears to my eyes and be so beautiful. Thank you for sharing, you truly have an amazing God-given gift for putting something so utterly complex into words that sound so simple. Praise God!!!

missy said...

ahhhhh!!!

Anonymous said...

I just want to tuck you all under a poncho with me and listen to our soft deep breathing as we wait for answers, and bathe in the knowledge that God is always there, holding us like little chicks.
Thank you for sharing this beautiful private picture with us.
Pa'

Kiwi the Geek said...
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Kiwi the Geek said...
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Kelly Holman said...

Well, I don't like facebook, but here is something I just can't resist!

That's a beautiful story, Jenny. I wish I could meet your children.