As a little girl, I used to wave at the sky as I rode in the back seat, saying "hi" to God. But life has a way of changing, and while I still believe in God wholeheartedly, I do not wave at the sky anymore. That child-like faith is a precious thing that innocent children so easily grasp, but the reality of this world quickly steals from us as we grow older.
It's easy to get caught up in religion, legalism, and rules. It's so easy to focus on making sure you don't say a cuss word, you hashtag the word "blessed," and you aren't late to church, that you forget to be mesmerized by God's hugeness.
My brother, John Mark, was 4 years old at the time when I saw in him the faith of a child. We went as a family to watch my other brother's basketball game. I was sitting with my mom and two younger brothers at a table in the gym, watching my brother's game. We had ordered hot dogs for lunch, and everything was going about as normally as a basketball game could. Until it wasn't.
I looked over at my 4-year-old brother, John Mark, and he looked "off." He had a panicked and confused look on his face. My mom immediately recognized the expression.
He was choking.
My mom picked him up and ran into the middle of the court, stopping the game. People gathered around, trying to perform the Heimlich. I stayed back with my 2-year-old brother, not knowing what to do. It was the most powerless feeling I've ever had. Minutes passed, and there was no sound of "we got the food out! He's okay!" My ears desperately wanted to hear this. I needed to know that this nightmare was over. A long enough time had passed where brain damage was almost eminent. A 4-year-old boy. Without oxygen. For over four minutes. The ambulance arrived in a blur. They took him and my mom. I was rushed into our family van with my two other brothers and dad. The only thing I knew was that when he had gotten into the ambulance, his airways were still completely blocked.
We finally arrived in the ER parking lot, and my dad got a phone call. He immediately started crying, and I just knew my brother was gone. I grabbed the phone from his hand and frantically asked whoever was on the other end if he was okay. I was desperate to hear good news with every last bit of hope I could muster up. And to my life-long and ever present relief, he was just fine. He had no brain damage whatsoever, and he was doing great. It was a miracle.
A flood of relief overcame me. I walked into the hospital, the life drained from my body. He was lying in the hospital bed, family and friends gathered around. And he was, like she had said, just fine. I'm not sure I can adequately express the relief I felt. Well, at that moment, I'm not even sure I could feel much. When you have an out-of-body experience, it's hard to feel anything when it's over.
We went home, and family and friends came to visit us. We were so overwhelmingly grateful to have another chance with him. The thing that sticks out to me the most about what happened is my brother's response when we asked him what he was thinking while he was choking. He should have been traumatized and shaken up. But instead of saying he was terrified, he said this:
"I wasn't scared. I was excited to get to see how big God was."
Let's be real. Who thinks that way? When they are literally dying, four minutes without oxygen, who really gets excited that they are about to see how big God is?
It's incredible, really. The faith of a child. I pray that each of us are one day able to be so excited at the thought of seeing the size of God, that we have no fear of death. This holiday season let's focus more on being in awe then on religion and legalism. Let's focus more on God's hugeness then on arguing religion and politics. And most of all, let's try to have as much faith as a 4-year-old child.
Original post can be found at https://heatherhiccups.wordpress.com/.