A few weeks ago, it started. Our sweet, smiley, and immobile son, became mobile. Kyler started crawling. Lauren and I didn’t realize how easy taking care of Kyler was until he started moving. Now everything is fair game for him. Plugs, cords, dog food, toilets, etc. He is no longer content to play with his toys, or sit in our laps and read, or lay on the ground kicking his legs, or practicing rolling over. He just wants to explore. He is addicted to his new found freedom.
It is so much fun to watch Kyler move around and get excited about everyday objects that seem mundane to Lauren and I. He is having more and more fun and is more and more happy the more mobile he becomes. He has also hurt himself more in the last three weeks than he ever has before. Bumps on his head, bit tongues, black eyes, sore knees are all just becoming a part of his daily accomplishments.
As I watch Kyler, I can’t help but think about when I first came to know Jesus. When I was first born into the new life of Christ, although I was a new creation, I was fairly immobile and didn’t know what to do. It took time to figure out how to use my new arms and new legs, to experience different sensations, and to digest the food of my new life. After growing up a bit in my faith, I began crawling and exploring my newfound freedom in Christ. I discovered his daily grace, the depths of his love, the intricacies of his truth. I looked on his mercy the same way my son looks at the fireplace cover we won’t let him play with. There was a constant wonder and intrigue that increased as I stepped out more in faith.
At the same time, I got hurt more. As my freedom in Christ increased, so did the risk of falling down from his grace, of hitting my head on the sharp corners of his holiness, of sticking my finger in the electricity of his power. It would be easy for Lauren and I to not let Kyler explore, keep him in the crib all the time, or just put bumpers and pads on everything (including him). But if Lauren and I don’t allow Kyler the risk of getting hurt, we also deprive him of the joy of the freedom he has in living and moving around.
If we were to protect Kyler from everything and put him in a bubble suit, most people would find that strange, possibly abusive. So why don’t we find it equally strange and abusive when we do that to ourselves and others when it comes to faith? Freedom in Christ not only means unfathomable joy, but also infinite risk. We can run in fear and hide ourselves in the comfort of immature faith. We can try with all our might to convince everyone that we are still infants and immobile, but if we do we are keeping ourself from experiencing the new life God paid his life for us to experience.
So as I watch Kyler both laugh harder and cry harder than he ever has before, I will remember that a life lived by faith is dangerous, but so incredibly worth it.
“So we are always of good courage. We know that while we are at home in the body we are away from the Lord, for we walk by faith, not by sight” (2Corinthians 5:6–7 ESV)