Stinson has always embraced his faith in Christ in two ways. First, with great joy and enthusiasm. Second, he has always sought to understand the process that stands behind the truth he embraces. Even as a little guy, he would ask questions about the why behind the what, letting one answer lead to the next question.
When he first recognized Christ’s call, and Wayne and I led him very simply to that relationship his little heart was seeking, he was the most joyful Christ-embracer you have ever seen. “You mean I’m a Christian now?!” he exclaimed, as if he could hardly believe such a wonderful thing could be true. Through that night, he would come in and wake us up to say, “I can’t believe I’m a Christian now!” After this had happened several times, he said, “I bet you wish I waited ‘til tomorrow to be a Christian!”
That next morning we invited our dear friend and pastor, Scott Miller, to our house to talk to Stinson about his new commitment. Stinson couldn’t wait to tell Scott his great news. When Scott arrived, Stinson became very sober and thoughtful. He really wanted this to go well. Scott said, “Stinson, can you tell me how a person gets to heaven?” Stinson pondered his answer, then very seriously responded, “By dying.”
There you have Stinson. Joyful and thoughtful at the same time. Embracing the truth, but examining its underpinnings.
One morning not long into the new adventure, I woke early in the morning and followed my morning routine. I walked out on the front porch to pick up the newspaper, but that morning I saw some little random scrap of paper, which I picked up and stuck in my pocket to throw into the trash.
Later that morning I heard Stinson get up, make a bee-line for the front door, open it, close it, and come running joyously into the kitchen to find me. “Mom! I found out how to get a note to God!”
“Really? Tell me about it,” I answered.
“You just have to put it on the front porch! I tried burying one in the sandbox, but the next day it was still there. I tried throwing one out my bedroom window, but the next day it was still there. Then last night, I put one on the front porch! And it’s gone!”
From a heart that longs for relationship, not just religion, we sometimes work hard to find the secret to hearing God and knowing that He hears us. We can’t imagine that God has made it easy for us to find Him by seeking us out and making Himself known. All the elaborate rituals we create that are designed to get His attention are wasted effort. You have His attention. He hears your sighs as if they were fully formed thoughts. He hears your desires before you have words to put them in, or sentences to express them in. We can’t imagine that He embraces us with a joy of which ours is but a shadow.