Yesterday Em and I went on a picnic with my girlfriend, her 3 children and her 9 year old nephew. My cell rang out, “Beautiful Day” (Jason was calling from England…no, I didn’t get to go this time…) My friend’s nephew said, “Hey, that’s U2. I know that song.” First, I want to thank his parents for exposing him to such a great band (smile). My friend said, “Why don’t you ask Adrienne why that song is on her phone?” So, this is how it went…

Nephew: Do you like U2?
Me: Yes. U2 is my favorite band of all time.
N: Why?
Me: Well, have you ever heard of a guy in the Bible named David? He wrote songs to God?
N: Maybe.
Me: Well, David loved God with his whole heart so he wrote songs that told of God’s glory, but also of his heart for God. Bono, the lead singer of U2 is kind of like a modern day David. He loves God with his whole heart.
N: Do you like the song, “Numb”?
Me: Yes. That was written by Edge, the lead guitarist of U2. His wife and he were splitting up and his heart was really sad…
N: He felt numb.
Me: Yep. He felt numb, so he told God about it.
Me: Well, the reason I have “Beautiful Day” on my phone is because there is a line in the song that says, “After the flood, all the colors came out.”
N: I don’t really listen to the words…
Me: I definitely do, that’s why that song is on my phone. Really, I could pick any U2 song to put on my phone. Have you ever heard about a flood that happened on earth?
N: Yeah, with a guy named Moses and an ark or something….(thinking face…)
Me: It wasn’t Moses…can you think of the guy’s name?
My friend: Sounds like ‘something ark’.
Nephew: Noah’s Ark! Yeah, that’s it!
Me: Yep, Noah’s Ark, nice work. Noah obeyed God and built an ark because God told him there would be a flood, the ark would keep his family and the animals safe.
N: Like ‘Evan Almighty’!
Me: Yep. Well, I had a little boy named Noah who got sick and died. That song is talking about the rainbow of God’s promise after the flood. We chose that song to be Noah’s song.
N: That is so sad. Do you know why Noah died?
Me: No. No one knows why Noah got sick and died. He stopped being able to breathe on his own and machines were keeping his lungs and his heart pumping. He didn’t open his eyes anymore and couldn’t move his sweet little body.
N: That is so sad. Losing a child is the hardest thing you will ever do on earth.
Me: (In my brain I’m thinking there is no way this kid is 9!)
Me: Yes. I imagine it is because I can’t think of anything harder.
N: No, there is nothing. What happened?
Me: Well, on January 12th, Noah’s daddy and I took Noah off the ventilator and gave him to God.
N: That is the best choice you could have made. Then he wasn’t suffering and he could be in heaven. That was the best choice. You did the right thing.
Me: That’s what we had to figure out, and we decided that God’s presence was way better for Noah than being in a hospital with no answers, hooked up to machines that were keeping him alive.
N: You made the best choice. If I were sick in the hospital, with machines keeping me alive, I would want my mom and dad to make that choice for me.
Me: (There’s no way you are 9!)
Me: Would you like to see pictures?

I showed my friend’s nephew two mini picture albums I keep in my purse that one of Noah’s nurses gave me. Some are pre-hospital, some are during the stay, ie. Christmas, my birthday, etc, and a couple are after we took Noah off the vent.
N: That is so sad. You made the right choice. I honestly think that is the most difficult thing anyone would ever have to do on earth, but you made the right decision. I wouldn’t want to be on machines suffering, I’d want to be free in heaven. You will always have Noah in your heart.
Me: (Finally unable to contain it, I burst into tears and said…) I can’t believe you are 9! You are so wise! Thank you for listening to my story! I can’t believe you are 9!

Of course, this was the day after we studied in “Breaking Free” by Beth Moore, that children ROCK! Why was I shocked?! The disciples were bickering about “Who was the greatest in heaven? Jesus called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: ‘I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:1-4 (read the whole thing, it’s AWESOME, of course…)

Jesus went on to talk about anyone who leads a child into sin and the consequences they would reap. It was good for Jesus to drive home the point of leading one of his favorites astray, which was the second point of this passage. The first point, however, was to have faith and hunger for God like a child. Of course my friend’s nine year old nephew got it immediately. Simplicity. Trust. Faith unwavering, untainted, not seen through the eyes of the world but purely through the eyes of a child. Of course it took me longer…I had allowed my theology degree and my quote un-quote educated brain to be at the forefront of my life instead of being led by the Spirit of God. Once things were in order, trusting God was hard, but trusting Him brought peace.

Instead of thinking, “I can’t believe you are so wise and you’re only 9!” Now when I meet someone who’s older and in a faith crisis, I’ll think, “I’m sorry you’re not 9, or 5, or 7!”



15 Responses

  1. Awesome!! I think that is why I enjoy working with and around children so much………it keeps me accountable and my faith fresh and pure like a child’s.

    PRAISE JESUS, for HIS precious little ones and you!

  2. I just want to say that I agree with you about EVERYTHING! U2 is the greatest ever & kids are wise beyond their years…maybe it’s just that they can see through a situation and get right to the heart of the matter. That was an incredible conversation with a 9 year old!

  3. Things really should be that simple but we always make them so complicated. What a great moment you had with that 9 year old. I am sure that he will never forget you or Noah.
    I heard the other day on the radio that they made a U2 film for imax theaters. It will be a concert in 3D. Pretty cool.

  4. Adrienne–that was the coolest story. I should listen to those little ones a bit more. Maybe God is trying to speak to me, but I’ve been too busy… trying to figure out the teenagers–an impossible task.

  5. Delurking to “wow” along with everyone else.

    I am the mom of six and am constantly blessed by their insight and wide-eyed faith. One day, my 3yo son said, very simply and out-of-the-blue, “God painted my face while I was in your tummy.” I was completely taken aback because although I’ve taught my son that God made him, he came up with that image solely on his own (not!)

    Now I cling to that picture of God painting a child’s delicate features with His careful, steady hand. I recently miscarried for the third time (in my 11th week) and I think of my little boy’s God-given wisdom. Of course I am sad the baby is no longer in my body, but I know she (my feeling) was tenderly loved and cared for during her short time on earth. And now? Man!

    There are so many more examples…thank you for sharing your heart and the heart of that special boy.

    “Beautiful Day” is our eldest son’s song, BTW. I saw U2 at the Pepsi Center in April 2005. Bet you were there!?

  6. What a neat story…thank you for sharing this. I’m so inspired. I LOVE kids and the way that they process and think about life. And that sweet little boy truly is full of wisdom to have shared what he did with you – incredible. May God continue to grant you His peace today. I think of you and your Noah often. Much Love…

  7. Ade,
    What a beautiful moment and reminder that God puts things in our way when we least expect it to encourage us and to remind us that He cares so much about us. It made me cry. I miss our little guy so much! I put one of the pictures (the one of you and Noah and the red rose) that you and Jason gave me in my room. It is oddly really comforting and encouraging to me, you’d think it would make me sad but instead I look at it and I have a sense of hope and a knowing that everything will be ok. It is picture of strength, courage, and love. I love that picture. The scripture that comes to my mind (I don’t know the exact reference) but it is the “well done my good and faithful servent” scripture. That is the scripture I think of when I look at all the pictures of Noah and you guys. A pure love you gave. Thinking of you, Jason, and Em often. I love the last sunset pictures, I love them all! What a gift God gives us every night.
    Love and prayers!

  8. There’s nothing like the eyes and opinion of a 9-year old when remembering that God is good, period! No questioning, no talking yourself out of your beliefs.

    Adrienne, your family is full of wise people!

  9. Our son (11) had been sick for the past year and had 6 surgeries. He is now 100% completely healed, and while we are all grateful, it is he who has reminded us continually of God’s faithfulness. he said to me the other day “you know Mom, I am really thankful for this past year, as hard as it has been”. When I asked why, he simply said “because without it, I would be going into this new school year without this understanding of just how awesome and mighty God really is. I have a feeling I will need to remember that this year. It’s a good lesson to know”.
    My mouth dropped open and I thought “who is this kid I have been given the pleasure of raising?” I learn so much from his faithfulness! you are right… kids ROCK! (and that BM study is my favorite of all times!)

  10. that is so true adrienne! we usually immediately think that our children aren’t capable of ‘understanding’ all that God does…it’s usually we, the adults, who try to understand it instead of just trusting Him.

    what a fabulous conversation and what an amazing woman you are to teach so many!

  11. Adrienne,
    I remember you asking for people to send you things to pray about, so I thought you might be interested in another family’s struggle with a mysterious illness affecting their son. Well, they know what it is, it’s just so rare there’s no cure. He has Krabbe disease, a leukodystrophy. His dad is the director of graduate admissions at Vanguard University in California.

  12. tears welling… HOW PRECIOUS!!! WHAT A BEAUTIFUL BEAUTIFUL CONVERSATION. i hope that boy never forgets.

    i’ve been out of blogs for a while and these last couple posts were the perfect thing to return to.

    the weird thing is i dreamed about trying to get on a flight to england… was at the airport and wondered if 1/2 hour before takeoff was long enough – knowing i’d miss the flight but wishful thinking. then i read that jason is in england and you missed a flight? strange. 🙂
    heidi jo w

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