Monday, April 18, 2011

on faith

on monday,
four days before passover,
the Lord hungers
and then curses a barren fig tree.
following this
He goes on to teach His disciples of faith,
of asking, and receiving--
and moving mountains
(matthew 21:18-22).

what's amazing about faith
is that despite its complexity, its power,
and the inability at times for even an adult
to use or even understand it,
children can still move mountains.

i still remember some of the mountains i moved
as a young child.
one time my pet turtle escaped from his box
and was nowhere to be found.
oh, how i prayed that night before bed,
begging and pleading
for the Lord to send my little turtle
back home to me.
to open my bedroom door the next morning
and find him waddling down the hall
heading straight for me
was nothing short of a miracle--
a mountain moved.

and how i love to listen in
on the girls' prayers at bedtime,
to catch a little glimpse of the thoughts of their hearts,
to hear their casual yet utterly sincere
words of thanks
as well as pleas--
for mountains moved.
last night milla asked
for her dad to get to work "without traffic,"
and in the same breath asked
for baba Lelya to come back to life.
how humbling to think
the Father hears them all,
pleas great and small.

and just as humbling to know
that He answers them in His own way.
one heartwrenching experience took place
just last summer,
as i wandered with my three children
up and down the aisles of a flea market in france
on a blistering hot august day.
just as we were all worn out
and ready to look for a creperie to relax and lunch,
milla discovered she had lost the hat
to the my little pony she had just purchased.
and so after wandering up and down
a couple of those long grassy aisles all over again,
with no luck,
she decided to say a prayer.
and i, remembering my turtle experience
and foreseeing a great opportunity
for a young child to exercise and build faith,
said my own desperate prayer,
for her prayer to be answered.
and as we all dragged ourselves up and down those aisles
so wearily one more time, 
i kept praying and praying in my heart
that the faith of this child
could move a little mountain
in the form of a plastic hat.

the hat was never found.
and as we walked to the car,
i struggled painfully inside
to know why He would choose not to answer this little plea
and help grow a young child's faith.
it tore my heart out
to try to find the words to console her
when she kept asking me,
why wouldn't He help me?
why wouldn't He answer my prayer?

and that's why i say
is very complex.
and very hard, even for an adult to understand at times.

we did not find the pony's hat.
but her dad did get to work without traffic today.
and baba Lelya?
well, His merits do bring her back to life.

He does always answer.


Jill said...

I'm following your lead this year and we made these fig bars today, definitely fabulous. The smell alone was enough to have us ready for a repeat. Thanks for sharing.

Davian said...

jen, you are the best.