The other day my 12 year old said a surprising thing. We were having a family dinner before an evening community worship meeting. It was going to be an open forum where anyone there would be encouraged to share a “testimony of God’s goodness”: what He has done or, what is He doing in one’s life. So, at dinner before the meeting we asked the kids, “What is a [testimony] in your life?”
Samuel, my 12 year old replied, “I don’t have a testimony”.
“Why not?” was my reply.
“Well”, he said, “my testimony isn’t finished yet. I’m in the middle of it. It has been going for a while, but isn’t over yet.” I was stunned. Such simplicity, yet such uncommon depth of perspective.
Too many times we see God and what he is doing, with too narrow a perspective. Too short-sighted. Being the consumers we naturally are, we commonly only recognize God’s handiwork after it is done, or in a single moment in time. Unfortunately, if the process eludes us, so too does the recognition of an ever-present and involved God; lacking also is the day-to-day gratitude.
I encouraged my son to share this at the evening’s meeting; we adults need to hear his ‘testimony in action’.
He does not like attention; the thought of sharing publicly in a meeting, simply scares him! After several others shared pieces, including a couple of other kids, Samuel got up to share. I was facilitating the meeting, and in truth, I thought that what I had heard earlier would be all he would say. Instead he actually unpacked it!
“Hi, my name is Samuel; that is my dad…” “When I was younger, in 4th or 5th grade, I didn’t really know who I was. I would try to “dress in other kids clothes”, and look like others. But God has been showing me who I am more lately. The testimony isn’t finished yet, I am still in the middle of it. Thanks”
That was humbling. So proud. So important. We are all trying so hard to arrive somewhere, we so easily miss the journey. I know that we all hear stuff like that all the time. But hearing it from a 12-year old did something. It encouraged us. We are all in the middle of our testimony; in the middle of His testimony is us.