How God Must See Us – As Depicted in a Commercial

060514On one particular morning, just two weeks after His resurrection, Jesus stood on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. Seeing the Apostles in a boat just off the shore, he said, Little Children, Have you caught anything? (John 21:5)

It is a rather strange way to speak to grown men: “Little Children” (παιδία = paidia = little ones, children, infants, the diminutive of pais (child), hence “little ones”). And yet how deeply affectionate it is.

We often think of ourselves in grander terms, terms that bespeak power, wisdom, age, and strength. But I suspect that, to God, we must always seem like little children.

When I do infant Baptisms I normally use a passage from the Gospel of Mark in which the Lord says (among other things), Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a little child (παιδίον) shall not enter it (Mark 10:15). And thus we must finally come to realize that however rich, powerful, capable, or mature we my think ourselves to be, we depend radically on Abba for everything—even the next beat of our heart. The infants I baptize are already preaching the Gospel of the Kingdom simply by their littleness. They summon us who think we are strong and independent to know who and what we really are: little children, so needful of Abba for everything.

I am often moved as I walk the halls of nursing homes and see many once powerful “adults” now reflecting their truest state. Like little children, they have become dependent. Some can no longer talk. Others just sing and hold dolls. Still others wear diapers, need to be fed, and cry out for help and comfort. It has always been so for them (and for us); it is just now more evident.

This Sunday’s gospel begins with the Lord calling us his “little flock.” And so we are—little and yet loved.

And somewhere, standing on the seashore of your life, the Lord is calling out, “Little One … have you anything to eat?”

I though of all this when I saw the video below. I wondered as I viewed it if it doesn’t depict all of us as God really sees us. The folks in this video think they are “big and bad.” But for a moment we them as God does. Enjoy this.

5 Replies to “How God Must See Us – As Depicted in a Commercial”

  1. This is my favorite post. This is how I’ve come to understand my relationship with God. It makes it easier to run to Abba and ask for help or simply be in his presence and allow him to make me feel better. Beautiful, thank you for the post!

  2. There was this bass player named Mike Watt who had severe diarrhea before a show, so he strapped an adult diaper and played the show. I always admired that for some reason.

    There is something horrible and beautiful about the adult diaper.

    I want to post a video where Mike Watt plays one of my favorite bass parts, but I restrain myself.

  3. Some great points. In thinking of the elderly in nursing homes I especially think its important to treat them with dignity and respect. We as a society tend to shuffle the elderly off into nursing homes to be forgotten and cared for strangers. We should remember that whatever fate we send them off to will eventually be our own fate as well. Anyway, its a perfect example to consider our own weakness even when it isn’t as apparent as it is with children and the elderly. Praise be to God now and forever.

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