Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Light

My son is not the smartest person in his class. He doesn't always have the right answers. He's not the quickest to raise his hand or finish his writing assignment. According to his teachers, he doesn't consistently count higher than 39 and he needs to practice his sight words.

He excels where his fine motor skills are concerned. He follows directions. His report card reflected zero "fair" and "good" marks, three "very good" marks and about fifteen "excellent" marks. Next to social skills, outside of the parameters of the chart, his teacher wrote "A+". This doesn't come as a shock to anyone who knows him. Garrett has never met a stranger. "He's hysterical," they said. "He's tenderhearted, respectful and sweet. He cares so much about everyone in our class."

I'm not gonna lie, it warms my heart that he's well liked, respectful and funny (humor is important, people). I'm proud of the fact that he nearly ran the report card with straight excellents. But what stands out about today's conference was when his teacher said, "He's such a light."

It's no secret to anyone at his preschool that Garrett is an evangelical Christian. The kid, at five, preaches to everyone. He'd try to lead a tree to the Lord if he thought the tree would listen. We used to kind of apologize for his behavior because, for one thing, we didn't want the entire school thinking we were putting him up it. More disappointing is the fact that, sometimes, we felt like our child needed to exist within the social norm of when it's acceptable to share Christ. He's teaching us that the answer to that is always.

Garrett loves Jesus. He talks about God all the time. One day, during playtime, he rounded up a group of kids, told them they needed to be baptized, and explained that he was just the one to do it. I'm fairly certain an imaginary baptism followed.

Last Christmas he got in a heated debate with another little boy. When asked what he loved most about Christmas, Garrett replied that he loved celebrating God's birthday. When the other child interjected that it was Jesus's birthday, my son informed the student that they were the same. "Jesus is God." Garrett explained. No, the boy had said, they are different. "But they're both God. God the Father and God the Son," my boy explained. Thankfully, the teachers had intervened before the two boys could really get into it. I'd heard the story before but his teachers repeated it to me again today.

"We just thought it was so sweet that his favorite thing about Christmas was faith based."

"Yeah," I replied. "We just need to explain to him that we live in Utah. A preschool in Utah is probably not the best place to get into an argument about the Trinity."

"Oh, but we love him. He's such a light," his teacher responded. I smiled and said thank you. It was a brief meeting so I bit the words off the tip of my tongue. I didn't say what Garrett probably would have. That's God in him. This light you see isn't my son. The Light is shining through him. God the Spirit, the one he didn't mention in that heated debate, is coming through his very pores. And I couldn't be more proud. He may not be the brightest kid in the class. He may not recognize his sight words or all of his numbers. But he is not hiding his lamp under a basket. You hear him proclaim it, but so much more importantly, you see it.

It's an incredible blessing to experience moments like this. This is the same kid who, two years ago, humiliated me at SeaWorld by screaming, "Put your finger down you naughty lady!" It's the same kid who defied me at the park last summer and then created the world's biggest scene when I told him we were going home. We're talking about a child who often has trouble obeying and honoring his parents. He's like every other five-year-old in the world in so many ways. But he knows his Savior and for that I rejoice.


You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.  Matthew 5:14-16

For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. 1 John 5:7

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