Yesterday, my daughter, Livvy and I headed to Build-a-Bear Workshop to get a small bear for my four-year-old son, Aidan. All members of the Kuo clan have a bear with a little speaker in it that holds a short personalized message from me. All except Aidan. So after snatching Livvy from school we ended up at the shop.
The bear building process, for those who haven’t been, involves grabbing an empty bear shell – kinda creepy – getting it stuffed to appropriate level of huggyness and putting in a small satin heart. As part of the process you’re supposed to kiss the little heart and make a wish.
My wish for the bear was a wish for Aidan – that I might be able to see Aidan grow to be a man. I remembered Bob Tebow’s long-standing prayer for his son, Tim – that God might allow him to raise Tim till he was 25. To raise that preacher God entrusted him with.
So I prayed that prayer, that I might be able to raise Aidan till he’s 25. That’s another 20.5 years. I’d be nearly 64. Not old. Not young.
Ordinarily it might seems a rather pedestrian prayer. Chances great that God would grant that prayer.
But my chances are somewhat different than your average bear. I’ve dealt with a brain tumor for nearly 9 years. I’ve been told twice that I probably only had a year or so. The statistics snicker at the idea of another 20.5 years. But that was prayer.
For a moment at least.
Then another thought, what was my truest prayer for Aidan? It was, in short, that he would be a man like his namesake, St. Aidan of Lindisfarne – a man who served the poor, taught about God, believed in and performed miracles, a man who loved God. In short, a man after God’s heart who died standing up against the buttress of a church wall.
THAT is who I want my son to be like.
A high bar. Yeah, just a bit.
But the kicker is my Aidan won’t ever be that kind of Aidan unless God absolutely ravishes his heart. No manner of strength of will would ever allow Aidan Kuo to become like Aidan of Lindisfarne. That is an act of the Holy Spirit.
So my prayer changed. It wasn’t a prayer that, above all, I would get to raise my son. It was a prayer that, above all, he would be captured, entranced, captivated, ravished by God. THAT is the prayer for his whole life.
No matter what it takes, whether I’m here or gone, whether Kim or Olivia or anyone else is here or gone, that Aidan would have God. [If I get to be there for it all so much the better.]