Friday, January 23, 2004

Been having really good conversation with my oldest daughter, Ali this week. She is 7 and quite the drama queen. We were in my truck the other night and U2 came on the radio. I have already indoctrinated her to the fact that U2 is the greatest rock band in the world so when they come on the radio she asks me to "turn it up". It was "Still haven't found what I'm looking for" and she asked me what the song was about. I said, "I think its a spiritual longing for connection with God". Ali said, "That Bono should be a pastor, he's good at teaching people about what God is like." ummmmm, my daughter is admiring Bono. My life may be complete. well, not yet.

We walked in the door at home and Ali said, "daddy, tell me more about that Jesus". Now I have thought for a long time about how I would approach this conversation and that I didn't want to give her some linear presentation of laws impersonal information. So I got out a piece of paper and a sharpie and began to draw with her, I wanted to tell the story, the whole story. Started with pictures of Creation, then humanity, then sin, then separation, then lostness, then the heart of God that missed his creation, then the Incarnation of Jesus, then his sinless life, then his Crucifixion, then his Resurrection and then our response to God's invitation to the reality of His Kingdom. Our paper was full of pictures and phrases that told a story. Ali drew her own pictures and wrote down key words as I told the story. She was captured. When Nicki got home, Ali showed the paper to her and re-told the whole story to her with remarkable accuracy. And then she made the statement of a 7 year old sensitive heart. "How could anybody not believe this? Where do they think we come from if this isn't true? How could anybody not love Jesus?" I was tempted to close the deal and get her to "pray" but she was ready for bed, so we left her wanting.

Nicki found a piece of paper next to Ali's bed with her writing on it saying thanks to Jesus, asking him to help her with her sin and her own deliberation of why she sins when she doesn't want to. Welcome to the struggle, Ali. She told me last night that she needs to know more. She needs to read some books about Jesus. She wants to watch videos that tell this story. So this weekend we will watch one of my favorite versions of Jesus' life on video and do it together.

A story is unfolding before me. Another chapter of the great story. Ali has been exposed to the Kingdom virus and she is opening her heart to its realities. Her and Jesus are having their own personal time. She is falling in love with Christ. As a parent, I introduced 2 of my favorite people, my oldest daughter, Ali and the one who saved my life. So is Ali a believer now? Is she coming to believe more all the time? Is she saved? Is she becoming saved? I sense that Ali is being written into the story of God. That God is having as much fun as me watching Ali's passion and heart so innocent. One of my spiritual disciplines that I worked on last year was creating space in my life for each of my children. To be available to them and not caught up in "ministry" to others. God captured me about 15 years ago. I desire nothing more than to be an influencer in the process of God capturing my kids' hearts as well.

I live a very full life. But it doesn't come by accident, its a direct correlation to the disciplines that God is branding in me. Stop and notice the Kingdom today.


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