Unfortunately, a nasty stomach bug got the best of my nine year-old son William this past weekend. I found myself sitting with him as he lounged in and out of sleep in front of the TV. During his sickness, he was so calm, reasonable and responsible – eating a dry toast dinner without complaint, making quick beelines to the bathroom, and showing gratitude with multiple “thank you Mom’s” when I brought him meager sustenance and plenty of liquids.
But somewhere around his tenth sweet “thank you” I panicked because I suddenly became entirely conscious that he’s growing up so fast. Most days go by so quickly, I don’t realize how much older he’s gotten. When I think about how much he’s grown, I love and hate it at the same time. If he didn’t grow up, he wouldn’t be making the progress he’s intended to make, of course. But it doesn’t negate the grief I feel when each of my children matures and loses their innocent sweet voices, chubby cheeks and baby soft skin.
I was watching him in his misery, and I wasn’t sure whether to cry or just wrap my arms around him. That’s when he popped his head up off his pillow and asked, “Who is amazing Grace, anyway?”
He had just sleepily watched a commercial for the TV show The Amazing Race, which prompted him to think of that familiar hymn we’ve sung so many times at church and was also an integral part of his grandpa’s funeral last year.
Realizing the poor kid’s confusion, I explained “grace” wasn’t a person, but something God gave us – a wonderful undeserved gift of love and mercy for all mankind. He nodded and plopped his head back on his pillow – too feverish and tired and not caring much about what I said after it became clear “grace” wasn’t a superhero-like woman who triumphantly saved someone.
As funny and unexpected as this exchange was, it reminded me of God’s grace bestowed on all of us, even in our most panicked times. Whether we’re living life too quickly or too slowly because of illness, amazing grace rescues us…in a more powerful and lasting way than any super hero ever could.