How to Make a Milky Wave (and Other Humiracles)
My just-turned-four-year-old son…
crawled up onto the bed one morning a few weeks ago…
and delivered the following tale:
“MOM!!! I just had the funniest dream about me ‘n’ Yoda! You’n me’n Yoda fought Dark Bader with huge light sabers until he was in tiny pieces, as tiny as a germ. I took his light saber away, and he fell down a hole —
— then we built a ship out of our house for the good guys. At the end, we had a humiracle party [hyoo-miracle = extra huge] for only the good guys and Yoda. And they selled huge, HUGE popsicles there. We got to eat them, but they were never, ever done. And that was my whole dream.”
I wonder if Jesus had a four-year-old nephew who prompted Him to say:
“Unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
My youngest struggles to wrap his mind around the incomprehensible, humiracle size of the universe —
and with the universal sense that our lives are tiny by comparison.
“MOM! I know how to make a Milky Wave. You catapole yourself into outer space and pour milk into the sky. After 135 million years, it turns into the Milky Wave! But you would be dead before then.”
He keeps learning the difference between fact and fiction — so far retaining that priceless sense of wonder which takes a huge miracle to replace, once it’s lost.
“MOM! Everybody thinks whoever dies, you sit on clouds playing hops. That’s what people think…”
“The new earth, I don’t know how it will be like, but it will have tons of good things. No sins, no fighting, no tears, nothing bad.”
Usually while the kids are jabbering away, I have a separate train of thought running in the background (motherhood survival tactic). But when I heard these words, the train came to a screeching halt:
“MOM, how you get to heaven is you be so good….”
I’ve failed my youngest kid!
There are some things — like “buckle your car seat buckles” — that are non-negotiable, even for a child.
Me: Hey buddy, have you been so good?
Him (vividly remembering the last time he got in trouble): Nope!
Me: Sooo… but are you going to heaven?
Me (perplexed): Do you WANT to go to heaven?
Me (whew!): What happened to all the bad things we do?
Him: They went on Jesus when He died on the cross.
Me: Thank goodness. Yeah, Jesus took the bad things in our hearts and gave us His clean, new heart, which is what we need to get into heaven. To get a new heart, we just have to ask Him. Then —
Him (face bright and excited): I’m going to do that right now! [bowing head and whispering] Jesus, please take my bad heart and give me a clean heart!
Me: Uh… ok, then! Do you have a clean heart now?
Him (big smiles): Yep!
Me: Are you going to heaven?
When Jesus said we have to become like little children, He was answering a question about who was the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven. We can’t even be in the Kingdom of Heaven unless we’re willing to humbly recognize that we need help getting there. No one can make it there by “being so good.” I don’t know about you, but the last time I got in trouble is a recent, vivid memory!
“It is by grace you have been saved, through faith — and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God — not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Later that day, I quizzed him again — just checking:
“How you get to heaven is you get a clean heart from Jesus! And that’s my whole part I know.”
The Kingdom of Heaven is “in our midst,” in a child. (Luke 17:21)
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.”