Recently, I went to my friend Bailey’s house for a short visit. “Bailey” is a seeker and person of peace. At the time of my visit her second story patio was nice and shaded so went out on it. As I was standing and chatting with others in her family, her one-year-old nephew Tony toddled by. In one swift motion, Bailey swooped him up, lifted him over the railing of the patio, and then let him dangle there, about 15 feet from the ground, only holding on to one of his arms. I heard him give out a scream as she lifted him over the edge.
Now, let me give you a little cultural information before telling the rest of the story. Since moving here, I have encountered some different concepts of child-rearing, one of the more interesting ones being occasional minor bodily harm to children. Often, people here perceive children to be so cute, and they love them so much that they’ll pinch or bite them, deliberately leaving a mark behind. This mark is supposed to be a physical representation of how much they love the child. Also, parents commonly allow the older children pick on the younger ones. Often they expect that, if their child actually got into some real trouble while playing out in the streets, a neighbor would see and come help. I’ve gotten used to seeing these differences here. While it always makes me cringe, I normally don’t intervene much as long as the child isn’t truly in danger.
But here I was yesterday, staring speechless at my friend, as she called to the boys down in the street, “Hey, you! Can you catch this baby if I drop him?” Then she turned to me and said, “Look at him. He’s not moving. He’s not struggling. He isn’t scared!” I looked down at Tony. He stared down at the street below him. He wasn’t crying. He wasn’t squirming or screaming, trying to climb back over the edge. He was simply observing the scene in the street below him. He didn’t seem to suspect that if he dropped the fifteen feet his head would crack open. He didn’t wonder if any of the boys could actually catch him if he fell. He simply assumed that his aunt knew what she was doing. He trusted her. He never even fathomed the idea that she might make a mistake and drop him.
That required what I would view as a HUGE amount of faith. Even if the strongest man in the world dangled me over the edge of a building, you can bet I’d be screaming, squirming, and in general doing the very best I could to NOT be there. But Tony trusted his aunt without reserve. And when she pulled him back up and set him down safely, he toddled off as if nothing strange had happened. How I wish I trusted my heavenly Father in such a way. And He certainly deserves way more trust than “Aunt Bailey” did. In Matthew 18, Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
While it’s super hard for me to imagine having a faith like that, it’s even more difficult for Bailey to claim that kind of faith for herself. Would you please pray for Bailey as she reads the word for herself? Ask that the Father would give her impossible faith.