I’m easing into the ooze of morning rush and Scott asks, ‘Are baby whales born from eggs or their mommy’s tummies?’ I do a quick mammalian recap – indicate – edge into the stream heading to work and school and life – wave thanks to the guy who gives me a gap – and Scott takes a sho’t left with, ‘What did you pack me for snack time?’
But Cam’s not done with the mammal thing. He’s staring at the blur beyond his window. Thinking.
Recently he informed me earnestly over a plate of cheesy pasta: ‘Mom, if you wanted to get pregnant again, Dad would have to help you.’ But the details are obviously eluding him. How do two very small things come together and end up in something as big as a baby? So at the traffic lights he asks, ‘How does the man’s seed get to the lady’s egg?’
I fake a seamless transition from cheese-and-jam-sandwich to matter-of-fact this-is-how.
And I tell him it’s a most wonderful sacred thing. A God-designed gift to be unwrapped by married people, so that married people can share something super amazing and bring up kiddos who have a mom and a dad who love each other and love the kiddos at the same time in the same house.
He’s satisfied for now.
And I’m so very glad I got to tell him first.
So very glad to stake a truth claim in his heart before the world reaches in grubby to smear filth. Because the world will do that, for sure. It’s a matter of time. But maybe when the lies are screamed or suggested from billboards – when the beauty is twisted and sex morphs from intimacy to activity – maybe the truth will win out.
I drop the boys and meet a friend for coffee. I’m banking years of his wisdom because he’s published eight books and hundreds of thousands all over the world download his free stuff and he’s changing the world one kid at a time. And he walks calm and kind and Kingdom-focused through his days and hardly anyone knows about it and neither would you if you sat down across from him and ordered cappuccinos because he looks like John Piper and he’s all soft godliness and profound humility in much the same way. We swap stories and dreams and he keeps saying how it’s not about him, not about him. He urges me to keep on praying, keep on obeying, keep on trusting. That God sees and God knows and God works, for our best and the fame of his Name.
And I’m so very glad he got to tell me first.
So very glad he staked a truth claim in my heart because the world mocks and scoffs and casts doubt where I’m trying to cast vision.
And I think about how often we listen to lies before leaning into truth.
Like, we’re told that we are small. We’re told that our lives don’t count for much and we won’t amount to much. That we’re not gifted enough or passionate enough or connected enough. That we don’t have what it takes to leave the legacy of a great life’s work.
And then we’re told that we’re big. That it’s all about us. That we deserve more. That we shouldn’t be satisfied with less.
And the truth is way more extreme.
The truth is that our bigness doesn’t even come into it. And we’re even smaller than our self-deprecating selves.
And much more precious.
And God will hide our small lives and display them as and when he deems it right, in this life or the next. Joseph was hidden in prison before making prime minister. Moses was hidden in a desert before delivering his people. David was hidden in caves then crowned as King. Elijah was hidden by a brook then restored to boldness. Paul’s seismic activism for the gospel began after three years of hiding in Arabia.
And Jesus – master-teacher – rewriter of destiny – was hidden in a corner of history where there were no auditoriums. No big-screen live-streams. He was hidden amidst small crowds on grassy hillsides and in homes on narrow streets. He bore the Biggest Name and he lived the smallest life. And then he was revealed. Raised up to die, then raised up to live.
It’s a wonderful relief, really, to know that my life is on the down low. Because the truth is that any great work I do will be part of something far bigger than me. And the truth is that it’s not worth living for a name as small as mine.
I head back – same streets, new traffic – to fetch my boys. I’m not sure how a big busy day will spill from their small hearts. Not sure what big or small questions are brewing. But I’m hoping to find ways to let small truth-seekers see that sex and snack time and the wonder of whales are just some of the things that colour our small lives – shadows of big things to come – and that the big truth that must land heavy to squash lies is that we will only count big when we live small lives for the Big Name.
. . .
‘…your real life is hidden with Christ in God.’ (Colossians 3:3)