Just when you think your kids aren’t thinking about anything loftier than turning a bunk bed into a fort, they come up with the most amazing thoughts on life. Take Kerith. He’s a child of tremendous intellect, but also tremendous range of emotion (blessedly, usually joyful). So he loves to figure things out, take them apart, and understand how they work. But he also is our sensitive one, who can get very concerned and upset over the pain he sees in others. He can’t stand to pass a beggar by without asking for money to give them, which he does with a blessing.
He’s also becoming quite the prayer, waxing eloquent at bedtime about the virtues of God and the plight of mankind. His prayers can be some profound reflections on life and eternity. Simon once patiently waited him out for several minutes and at the conclusion lamented, “Kerith, you pray so long, and I need to go to bed!” – the only time I’ve ever heard him insist on the need to sleep.
So out of nowhere the other day, he comes up to me at the computer and shows me this object he had made from Legos:
He then proceeded to tell me it’s symbolic meaning, which I managed to capture on film:
Sure it’s a bit down on life at times, but what I appreciate about Kerith is his well-developed sense of human fallenness. God has time to work on the rest with him.
P.S. I’ve gotten my first concerned comment, the effect that Kerith may be “upset and troubled.” So here is my response: As I think about what may motivate this kind of concern, it seems to me that had he talked about life being all peaches and cream, God is good, we are so blessed, and the like, then everyone would praise him for his great attitude and outlook on life. What I would see in such a philosophy would be an unbalanced Pollyanna worldview that is clueless about the extent to which sin and the Enemy have invaded this world.
Is life “terrible” as Kerith says? Of course not, at least not overall, because we have a Saviour who is victorious over sin and death. Apart from that, however, life is terrible. And coming to a country like this, you can’t help see it much more obviously than you can in the States. We’ve lost count of all the drunk folk we’ve seen sprawled out and bleeding on the streets. We have one who lives close to us. And many countries are much better exhibits of the devil’s handiwork. So Kerith is adjusting to that reality. Moreover, Kerith is in a phase right now where he is keenly aware of his own sinfulness and his inability to overcome his weaknesses alone. This perspective clearly influenced what he said in the video, and this I applaud. Did he not, however, show a clear understanding that God is the only one who can get us to the “top”? That’s grace.
Maybe another kid who said this could be troubled, given different circumstances. Their grandmother came to visit this month, and her assessment of the kids was this: “I’ve been very relieved and blessed to see them thriving so well. The adjustment and their language acquisition that they have made has been phenomenal. I believe they are happy and content.”