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.