Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Letter to My Son (Published with his permission)

Dear Ryan,

I feel a need to write to you and all other young people whose rational and logical minds make it a bit hard to allow room for a living, loving God without empirical evidence.  I invite you to think about this question.  What would life be like if there was indisputable, observable evidence that God is who people of faith have been saying for centuries?  Think about this.  When you see sunlight you follow the source and look up into the sky and see the sun.  You see it with your eyes and feel its warmth on your body.  This is how you know the sun is real. 

What would it be like if God were that physically real so you could see and feel and hear God any moment of the day?  I encourage you to really think about this.  Do you ever look at the sun and not really see it?  In other words do you take the sun for granted?  Of course you do.  We all do.  Would your life be different if God physically spoke to you each morning to let you know how loved you are and shared ways God wanted you to think and act for the day?  For example, if God audibly told you to speak to a homeless man on the way to work would you be likely to do it?  If God literally whispered in your ear to resist the temptation to buy a luxury car so you could give more to the poor would you listen?

My point is that even if God were to reveal God’s Self in a scientifically measureable way people would still live as if God did not exist.  We would still find ways to ignore God’s desire for us to love God and neighbor. 

I remember one day when you were in kindergarten.  We had recently moved to Alaska and you and your brother and I were in the woods laying in the snow observing a moose.  At one point while lying on our backs I said to you boys, “Isn’t it beautiful?  Isn’t God amazing?”  And you said to me, “Dad, you always say that!” 

Where in our scientific minds is there room for beauty?  Can you measure it?  Is it logical?  How can you know it exists if you don’t have eyes or heart to see it? 

I believe God gives us glimpses of God.  We see God in creation.  We see God in and through the witness of countless people of faith who caught these glimpses and found wholeness and salvation.  We see God in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ.  We see God every day in the midst of our mundane routines.  We just need eyes of faith to see Love that cannot be isolated in a lab.  We need hearts that are seeking these moments of grace, hearts that want to learn how to catch them when they are flung at us. 

One thing I know, Ryan.  These God moments are real.  The case I am making in this letter is that human, scientific logic doesn’t need to be a barrier to you discovering these God moments.  Give yourself some time to appreciate wonder and beauty.  If your heart is open to matters of faith God will speak to you in a powerful way. 

I love you.

1 comment:

Rev. Going On said...

I was deeply touched by your letter to Ryan; I wish I could have penned such a moving testament of my faith and passed it on to my children. It sounds like they are in the same place as your son. But I will for sure pass your letter on to them! Thanks for your powerful witness.
Paul Caseman