One minute, Josiah was just fine. He was almost ready for school and was in a great mood. Next, I heard a plaintive wail coming from the hallway and I turned back around to see Joey collapsed on the floor, sobbing bitterly.

Assuming he’d run into the wall or stubbed his toe (he has, unfortunately, inherited all of my physical grace) I asked him what was wrong.

With all the anguish a seven-year old can muster, he answered through his sobs, “I’ll never be a knight!”

You have to understand that Josiah is obsessed with everything to do with knights. Armor, swords, Narnia, Arthur – this is the stuff that really stirs up his already vivid imagination.

So I figured it was just one of those sad moments in life when the cold hard anvil of reality comes plummeting down to crush childhood fantasy into smithereens. Maybe he had realized, suddenly, how hard it would be to find a career path that rewards specialized knowledge like how to rescue princesses from dragons or how to properly care for your sword.

So it was with sympathy that I asked him why he couldn’t be a knight. Still sobbing, he answered with despair, “Because knights don’t have freckles!”

Okay moms and dads, admit it: there are times when your child says something that strikes you as incredibly – and inappropriately – funny, and you know that, no matter what, you must not laugh.

I explained that plenty of knights probably had had freckles, and after a moment of reassurance, Joey was fine again.

It seems silly, believing freckles to be a real obstacle to knighthood. My son is not the first – nor will he be the last – to worry that his perceived flaws might disqualify him from something important to him.

Many of us long to have meaningful and significant lives serving God’s kingdom, but we suspect that we don’t have what it takes. Not talented enough, not enough education, a troubled past, too young, too old, etc. It can be hard to imagine people of significance having “freckles”; unlike the rest of us, they live in a carefree, spiritually fulfilled bubble and are therefore more qualified to serve.

Go on a mission trip? Forget it – that’s for pastors and deacons and Bible College students. Lead a group Bible Study? No thanks – I’m no Bible expert. While it’s true that spiritual leadership demands that we live as real disciples of Christ, it’s a huge mistake to think that only perfect people have potential to minister.

Our transparency can be one of the most powerful ways we communicate the love and acceptance of God.

Contrary to expectations, God can use each one of us. Don’t ever believe that your freckles are an obstacle to knighthood.

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  1. Smitty says:

    Freckles! Now I’ve heard them all…

  2. Jennifer says:

    Thank you for this story. Not being in front of Josiah, I was able to laugh hysterically at this story. However, it was not out of mockery, but the love of children and their innocence. I love your following thoughts and you are right. There are many times in our lives that we think we can’t do something because of what ‘we’ perceive as a flaw. This is a wonderful reminder that we are all perfect for what we have been put here for and that we can all do all things through Christ.

  3. Sandra Snyder says:

    My boys are also obsessed with knights, armor, swords and such. I can’t imagine how your son would get the idea that freckles would keep him from being a knight!!! Kids come up with the most incredible stuff.

  4. Bob Gillis says:

    That boy provides you with some great stories, Scott!

  5. steph jones says:

    Sometimes it’s our “freckles” that indicate how God will use us. As someone who has a difficult history, I’ve seen God use my past to minister to others…

  6. Robin Klein says:

    Good thoughts.

  7. Jason says:

    EXCELLENT! The love of (and for) Christ overcomes everything! Including freckles!

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