There are some distinct disadvantages to being an ordained minister. One of them was sheeted home to me recently when I picked up our five-year-old daughter Rachel after school one day. She wanted to show me the work she had done in Prep in her Christian Education class: it was a booklet entitled “What is God like?” Rachel informed me that there was one question she could not answer, and the teacher told her to ask her father. Upon inquiry I was told the question: “What does God look like?”
As my five-year-old daughter looked at me with great expectation, my mind began racing at a speed I was struggling to keep up with. “How do I answer this?” I pondered, oscillating between a potentially incomprehensible description of theological reasons, and a discussion on the character of God. I was relieved when Rachel piped up in a cheery voice: “I know!” she said. “God looks like Jesus.”
A better answer could not have been spoken.
And it took a five-year-old to utter it.
It was the prophet Isaiah who foretold of a coming kingdom where “a little child shall lead them.” It was Jesus who said that in God’s kingdom the greatest shall be the least. Maybe we need to listen to the children around us more often, and more intentionally.
May 5, 2002