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March 16th, 2003

Heights

Baby, Tall Guy, and the View from God's Shoulders

 
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My baby cousin Kaitlyn issues from small stock. Her father is short, her mother even shorter, and her grandparents no towering giants. Her eighteen months on this planet have been populated by people who talk soft, walk tiny, and lift low.

Imagine then Kaitlyn’s reaction to my brother-in-law, who is six foot seven. Her father needs to climb onto a folding chair in order to slap him a low five.

When Kaitlyn caught sight of Britton across the room, she burst into tears and buried her head in her mother’s pantsuit, which, as I understand it, is Standard Baby for “Oh, hell, no.” She would have nothing to do with that decidedly un-short person.

Scared baby, hurt man
For the rest of the evening, whenever Britton was within eyeballing distance, Kaitlyn whimpered, threw her hand up to block him from view, and took off into the opposite direction. If I can’t see that big scary thing, her logic announced, he doesn’t exist and everything will be fine .

The big scary thing, for his part, had big-brothered four siblings and went home with hurt feelings, offended by his cousin-in-law’s unceremonious rejection of his person. But Kaitlyn couldn’t have known that if she had trusted Britton, she would have enjoyed a tour of her grandparents’ house from an unprecedentedly towering view.

What might have been
Perched on my brother-in-law’s broad shoulders, delightful new perspectives (and the discovery of a whole raft of new objects to swat at and break) would have opened themselves up to her—not to mention the addition of yet another adoring family member who would very gladly dive-bomb anyone who so much as looked at her sideways.

A thought
How often do we do this to God, the ultimate family member? Faced with His might, power, and supernatural tallness, how often do we fling our hands before our eyes and turn from the blinding light of His love? True, God can be pretty big and scary—which is precisely why He came to us as one of us, as a tiny baby just the way the rest of us begin.

We can’t simply squeeze our eyes shut in protest when we run into one of God’s rules we aren’t particularly fond of, or make things easier for ourselves by simply denying His existence. On the contrary, God redoubles His efforts to reach us when we present Him with our backs.

If we run from Big Scary God, we’ll feel a little less frightened, but we’ll never learn what we’re missing. Ride on His shoulders. There are some amazing views from up there.

 
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The Author : Mary Beth Ellis
Mary Beth Ellis writes from Orlando, Florida.
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