The Family Reunion
PILGRIMAGE OF A CHILD OF HOLLYWOOD
“…And please bless Mommy and Daddy and Lindy and Debby and Laury and Frosty. God bless all my friends. God bless Lassie and….” A moment of silent anticipation interrupted the simple prayer pouring forth from my four-year-old heart. With a furrowed brow and one ear cocked heavenward, I asked: “…and could you please talk a little louder, God? I can’t quite hear you.”
This childhood tale not only produces parental chuckles but evokes nostalgic memories of innocent and uncomplicated faith — the kind of faith we long for in later years when age, experience, and worldly realities interfere with our lines of spiritual communication with God. For as far back as I can remember, I always had some kind of interaction with God. Likewise, I have always had an understanding, however primitive, that Jesus was God’s Son and our Savior. And as the preceding account clearly demonstrates, I have always expected prayer to be a dialogue.
Christianity has, from my earliest recollections, been more than a moral code or a specific spiritual path. It has been a relationship,. As in every long-term partnership, there must be growth and change, not only because relationships are dynamic, but because we as individuals are transformed over a period of time. Without development, there is stagnation. We seem to resist change, but it is essential to growth — physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
Needless to say, I have certainly changed from the four-year-old, pig-tailed sprite I was when my prayers consisted of long lists of “God bless’s.” In many ways the changes have been for the better, yet at times I wonder if certain changes have pulled me from the simple faith I had as a child. Sometimes I wish it were that easy again. But if it were, my faith as an adult would hardly be realistic in light of the world we live in and the person I have become. In order to understand just who I am now, I must review the road I have traveled thus far.
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