My little brother and I were in our bedroom conducting gravitational experiments with our spit. From the top bunk we were hanging over the edge to see how close to the floor we could hang a string of spit from our mouths before it would break off and splat. I know, that's gross! But I was seven and seven year old boys revel in any new and creative way to outdo the last gross thing.
|George Reeves, Jr.|
In this case we had been "experimenting" for about 15 minutes when my father burst into the room. Apparently he had passed the age of appreciation for disgusting displays of splatology as was evidenced by the familiar "Boys, this is going to hurt me worse than it's going to hurt you."
He reached up to snatch me off the top bunk but before he got to me his foot hit that puddle of failed experiments that had built up on the tiled floor, causing him to slip and then sail across the room before coming down on his pancreas. Yeah, let's go with pancreas. I told him that it did look like it hurt him worse than it hurt me. I was wrong.
The next day I asked him how he knew we were in the bedroom spitting on the floor, since the door was closed. "Well son," he said, "it's like this, I am Superman's cousin and I have super powers." I immediately questioned his claim because I had not been impressed with his flying demonstration the previous day. He quickly let me know that his super power was X-ray vision and that he could see through walls. Like I said, I was seven years old and what seven year old doesn't believe it when his dad tells him something like that?
I did the natural thing which was go to school and tell everybody that my dad was Superman's cousin and by my calculations, this made me Superman's second cousin. My claim was immediately dismissed and right to my face I was told that both my dad and I were liars. Nobody is going to call my dad a liar and get away with it. Especially about something as serious as being a super hero. I fought in defense of his integrity but didn't fare too well. It turns out that super powers skip a generation and I couldn't hold my own against Jimmy or the rest of the third grade.
I began having doubts about his story when our neighbor, Moose, from the local chapter of the Hell's Angels Motorcycle Club heard me bragging about my father's super powers. He told me to go get my dad to come outside so he could... on second thought there is no need to spell out what Moose was threatening to do. The point is that I was faced with this challenge to go tell my dad that Moose wanted him to come out so he could do it. I gladly accepted the challenge on my dad's behalf and went home to get him. He just needed to come out and make an appearance. Just flex his powers to prove he was who he said he was and that would be the end of it.
On the way home I hesitated. What if he came out and by some slim chance got beat up by Moose. I mean, Moose was a big guy with a bad reputation. What then? What if it turned out that my dad only had X-ray vision, or worse, was just human? Doubt overcame me and I feared the possibilities. I didn't go get my dad. I didn't talk about it at school anymore, and I didn't go near Moose's house for a long time either, in hopes that he would just forget about the matter entirely. I'm guessing that he has forgotten about it by now. I didn't even mention this incident to my dad until recently. He had a great laugh.
I know that it was a story my dad made up to have fun with me but looking back, I was willing to fight for him and his integrity. I was willing to believe that he was cousin to a fictional character. I was a bit disappointed over time when I came to the realization that he was not super human after all. But I still think fondly about those early days when I believed and the lengths I was willing to go because of my belief. I wondered if I would ever feel that way again? Willing to accept the tough challenges, like Moose. Thankfully, yes!
Although my dad is simply human and imperfect, I love him. But, I have a heavenly Father who is perfect and is who He says He is. Thanks to my experience with my dad, I didn't immediately believe in God and His all knowing, all powerful, always present self. But I opened myself up to the possibility that it could be true. I dared to believe a little at a time and found that not only is He God, He is The Creator and He made me in His image and His powers did not skip a generation.
Because of God's super-human power, I have witnessed greater things than speed faster than a bullet or strength stronger than a locomotive. I have seen hate turn to love. I have seen death defeated. I have seen needs met, right on time. And I have seen him restore the relationship of a father and son, my dad and me, after years of not speaking or seeing one another. This is the God I am willing to stand with, to obey, and to lay my life down for.
God paved a way for us to get to Him by coming in the flesh, in Jesus Christ. He didn't have to but He chose to because He loves you and me. He doesn't want us to just get by, He gives us the Holy Spirit to help build His Kingdom and to live a life full of peace and joy and power. When we are willing to accept His power on His terms, that good feeling of a boy toward his dad the super hero is magnified way beyond words or imagination. I invite you to accept Him as your heavenly Father today.
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