Saturday, October 18, 2008

Contentment And The Simple Faith Of A Child

Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me (Mt. 18:3-5).
I just recently received this in my e-mail and I would like to share it. I know it will bless your heart as it did mine.
GOD LIVES UNDER THE BED. I envy Kevin. My brother Kevin thinks God lives under his bed. At least that's what I heard him say one night. He was praying out loud in his dark bedroom, and I stopped to listen, "Are you there, God?" he said. "Where are you? Oh, I see. Under the bed." I giggled softly and tiptoed off to my own room.
Kevin's unique perspectives are often a source of amusement. But that night something else lingered long after the humor. I realized for the first time the very different world Kevin lives in. He was born 30 years ago, mentally disabled as a result of difficulties during labor. Apart from his size (he's 6-foot-2), there are few ways in which he is an adult. He reasons and communicates with the capabilities of a 7-year-old, and he always will. He will probably always believe that God lives under his bed and that Santa Claus is the one who fills the space under our tree every Christmas and that airplanes stay up in the sky because angels carry them.
I remember wondering if Kevin realizes he is different. Is he ever dissatisfied with his monotonous life? Up before dawn each day, off to work at a workshop for the disabled, home to walk our cocker spaniel, return to eat his favorite macaroni-and-cheese for dinner, and later to bed. The only variation in the entire scheme is laundry, when he hovers excitedly over the washing machine like a mother with her newborn child. He does not seem dissatisfied. He lopes out to the bus every morning at 7:05, eager for a day of simple work. He wrings his hands excitedly while the water boils on the stove before dinner, and he stays up late twice a week to gather our dirty laundry for his next day's laundry chores. And Saturdays - oh, the bliss of Saturdays! That's the day my Dad takes Kevin to the airport to have a soft drink, watch the planes land, and speculate loudly on the destination of each passenger inside. "That one's goin to Chi-car-go!" Kevin shouts as he claps his hands. His anticipation is so great he can hardly sleep on Friday nights. And so goes his world of daily rituals and weekend field trips.
Kevin doesn't know what it means to be discontent. His life is simple. He will never know the entanglements of wealth and power, and he does not care what brand of clothing he wears or what kind of food he eats. His needs have always been met, and he never worries that one day they may not be. His hands are diligent. Kevin is never so happy as when he is working. When he unloads the dishwasher or vacuums the carpet, his heart is completely in it. He does not shrink from a job when it is begun, and he does not leave a job until it is finished. But when his tasks are done, Kevin knows how to relax. He is not obsessed with his work or the work of others.
Kevin's heart is pure. He still believes everyone tells the truth, promises must be kept, and when you are wrong, you apologize instead of argue. Free from pride and unconcerned with appearances. Kevin is not afraid to cry when he is hurt, angry or sorry. He is always transparent, always sincere. And he trusts God.
Not confined by intellectual reasoning, when he comes to Christ, he comes as a child. Kevin seems to know God - to really be friends with Him in a way that is difficult for an 'educated' person to grasp. God seems like his closest companion. In my moments of doubt and frustrations with my Christianity, I envy the security Kevin has in his simple faith. It is then that I am most willing to admit that he has some divine knowledge that rises above my mortal questions. It is then I realize that perhaps he is not the one with the handicap. I am. My obligations, my fear, my pride, my circumstances - they all become disabilities when I do not trust them to God's care. Who knows if Kevin comprehends things I can never learn? After all, he has spent his whole life in that kind of innocence, praying after dark and soaking up the goodness and love of God. And one day, when the mysteries of heaven are opened, and we are all amazed at how close God really is to our hearts, I'll realize that God heard the simple prayers of a boy who believed that God lived under his bed. Kevin won't be surprised at all!
May we all learn from Kevin about contentment and the simple faith of a child.


Nitewrit said...

Isn't every life precious and with a purpose, if we can only put aside our own pride and prejudices to see it? What is the real purpose of life? It is to focus on God. This is an example of the least of these being the greater and the simple teaching the wise. Too often I think of God in heaven, as in some far away place, when I should know God is right there, under my bed.

Maybe realizing God is close all the time scares us a little. We need to take Kevin's attitude that God's right there as a comfort and Kevin's contentment in living the life we have.

We are fortunate to have God under our beds when so many in this world have only monsters there.


Greg said...

Hi, Tammy! That's a touching story. I couldn't help but smile when I read it. I think anyone who has a little sibling or child can identify. I wonder if that's how God sees us. :)

Channelofhealing said...

AMEN & AMEN!!! I really love this story, sis you are blessed in Jesus Mighty Name Amen

jeleasure said...

Hi Tamela,
The last time we communicated, it was about politics. Sorry, I did not return to reciprocate on your comment.
I like this story of Kevin. The person who recorded it and sent it to you has a very professional writing skill. It was easy to assimilate the information.
In a way, I envy that man. I wish I would not be so concerned with proving myself when I feel I have been misunderstood. I wish we lived in a world where we all would benefit from one another giving their gifts to the less fortunate so we could experience God's concept of the Human Race (His Family). Some may look at Kevin as one who is experienceing a handicap. Some may look at Kevin and say how fortunate he is for the experience he finds God. But, as his sister said, Kevin's life is not leading up to a surprise when he meets God.
Thanks for the inspiration.

Vicki said...

Hi Tamela,
I liked your picture of the child praying fervently and the story about Kevin. I sense peace and faith in Kevin's belief that God lives under his bed. This represents a truth that perhaps the world would not understand.

When I was a little girl I would go to Ohio to visit my paternal grandparents and would visit the large church that my Grandmother attended. In the front was a pipe organ with the pipes gracing the front of the sancturary. Perceiving that there was space behind the pipes, I envisioned God walking behind there as we had service. I remember sitting very still hoping to see a gliimplse of His head above the pipes or to hear the sound of His footsteps as He walked to and fro just alittle bit in front of me.

Even though I don't look for Him physically in this life anymore, I hope I still look for Him in front of me, and I hope I still listen for the sound of His footsteps for direction.
Blessings to you and to your family, Tamela.

Gigi said...

Wouldn't our lives be so much simpler if we just believed firmly and a child? Wonderful post, Tamela!

Farrah said...

That is such a great story! Mentally disabled people are amazing in what they can teach us. I remember always feeling sorry for parents who have down syndrome children until I read a little story written by such a mom. She gave me a wonderful perspective on it and compared it to a journey -- a different journey from the usual parenting trip -- but a fabulous and rewarding journey just the same.

Lori said...


You always have the cutest pictures!
Thanks for posting this. I almost cry and smile every time I read this.

Nitewrit said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
capturedbygod said...

What a sweet story! One of our pastors told us about a childhood friend who had seizure that left her mentally handicapped, like a child. He also said that she seemed to know God better than we ever will.

Thank you for your comment on my site. You are always such an encouragement to me! May God bless you! :)

tikno said...

Very touching post!
Thank you for sharing.

Power Up Love said...

This makes me think of my 6 year son, Noah. When he looks at us and says I don't want to grow up. Noah is the most gentle loving, humble soul, so thoughtful, it really amazes me sometimes. Often, ask myself, "Why can't I be more like Noah?"

A New Year Praise!

Upon entering the year 2018 I am seeing just how great our God is. He is forever faithful and worthy of all praise. He is the God of all glo...