Some of my childhood memories come back as complete narratives. Every detail remains vivid, as does the progression of events. As a storyteller, I particularly enjoy recounting these memories, though John has heard all those stories so many times that I’m sure he’s sick of them.
Other childhood memories come in fragments, with both moments of sharp detail and many more moments so blurred that I can’t distinguish actual events from my guesses of what might or might not have happened. It’s one of those partial memories that I want to share with you today.
I was somewhere between the ages of nine and 14, though probably closer to 14. Quite distinctly, I remember being in my walker at Marindale School for the Orthopedically Handicapped during recess. That day, the teacher for the 4 and 5-year-olds had playground duty, which delighted me because I really enjoyed conversations with her. To this day, I remember her face and the color of her hair in the sunlight.
If I recall correctly, I could still use my left hand well enough to draw with pencils and crayons. I believe my love for drawing motivated me to ask this teacher if she knew what God looked like. I have a very clear memory of standing in my walker, looking up at her and asking the question with full confidence that she knew the answer.
Did she say God is Spirit, without physical features? Did she remind me of the second Commandment? It seems to me that she gave one or both of those replies, but I honestly can’t remember. Neither can I remember if I came away satisfied or disappointed. I doubt I made any attempts to draw pictures of God after that interaction with her.
A few years later, about two weeks before the Lord brought me to salvation, I remember sitting in my neighbor’s living room after school, waiting for either my sister or the girl who helped me write out my algebra homework. I read my Bible, and was cut to the heart by the words of Jesus:
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. ~~Matthew 5:8 (NASB)
Reading those heartbreaking words showed me that I wanted something much more than the ability to draw pictures of God. I wanted something to be in His immediate presence throughout eternity! I knew, however, that my heart teemed with impure thoughts about a boy I knew. I understood from that verse that I was headed for eternity in hell.
Even worse, I understood that I couldn’t see God. I understood that I would be separated from Him forever. No longer did I care about His physical appearance; I just wanted Him!
Looking back to that playground conversation with the teacher, I wonder if my question to her went deeper than wanting to draw pictures of God. I wonder if all along, He had given me a desire for Him.
The Lord did give me saving faith shortly after that afternoon in my neighbor’s living room, and in recent years He has led me to Scriptures that depict heaven as the place where I’ll physically behold God the Son in His glorified body!
I don’t look forward to that wonderful day as eagerly as I want to look forward to it. I don’t think many of us do. But those two memories, as blurred and fragmented as they are, assure me that I really do long to be with the Lord, basking in His presence. How I rejoice that my childish question will be answered throughout eternity.Follow my blog with Bloglovin