My little son loves all things fantasy. He loves dragons and mermaids and elves and fairies. Especially fairies. Now, this all-boy child of mine is enamored with flying. He prays for God to give him wings and he says, “Mom, why doesn’t God answer my prayer?” Oh how I wish I could answer those hard questions in easy ways. I say to him, “Well, sweetie, if I asked God to make me into a sweet potato, He just wouldn’t. He knows what prayers to say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to and which ones to say, ‘wait’ as well.” We both giggle at the thought of me becoming a sweet potato. But, I know in my heart that I have only given the best answer I can and it is a half-answer because it can not answer the longing of his heart and the many times from here after he will have to ask “why” about an amazingly good and loving God and our experience of Him in our brokenness and this sin-stained world.
Another time he says to me, “Mom, I want to fly.” “I know, hunny, you will fly someday, I am sure.” I’m thinking about flying on airplanes for trips, but I’m also thinking this is the type of child who weaves webs in our playset and creates big. He feels no fear or hindrance and gets lost in all the magic of self-expression. You will fly, I have no doubt. You may try on some of the silly contraptions they have tried to make — like the one where you soar about a meter over the water and zoom around self-propelled. You may float on air currents in a hanglider. Oh, you will fly. But then, when I hear you request for your fifth birthday that you just want one thing — to have time alone with Jesus, I am grounded. I just can’t believe my ears. My son, you are already flying. You have accepted the greatest gift in your heart and your longing for Him will lift you higher than any man-made contraption.
I have in my power the ability to put air under your wings or to strap them down and clip them
And that can be such a delicate task – the cultivation of wings in a child. Like all who fly you are free. And like all who love I want you near and safe. But I would never want to keep you from what is your destiny, the flight which is in your heart, the flight which God has planned for you. I want a seat on the tarmac. I want to cheer on the runway. I want to chase and wave as you take off and I want to turn and say, “You see that boy, the one who flies? That’s my boy.”