My Homemade Mother's Day Gift

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Tinkerbell Effect

Her voice was so low that at first he could not make out what she said. Then he made it out. She was saying that she thought she could get well again if children believed in fairies.

Peter flung out his arms. There were no children there, and it was night time; but he addressed all who might be dreaming of the Neverland, and who were therefore nearer to him than you think: boys and girls in their nighties, and naked papooses in their baskets hung from trees.

"Do you believe?" he cried.

Tink sat up in bed almost briskly to listen to her fate.

She fancied she heard answers in the affirmative, and then again she wasn't sure.

"What do you think?" she asked Peter.

"If you believe," he shouted to them, "clap your hands; don't let Tink die."

Many clapped.

Some didn't.

A few beasts hissed.

The clapping stopped suddenly; as if countless mothers had rushed to their nurseries to see what on earth was happening; but already Tink was saved. First her voice grew strong, then she popped out of bed, then she was flashing through the room more merry and impudent than ever. She never thought of thanking those who believed, but she would have like to get at the ones who had hissed.

The word, "believe," conjures a similar scenario of thought in a fairly large part of the human race, such as the one above; penned by Mr. Barrie over a hundred years ago... if only you'd just "believe" as though believing made it so.  As though believing were merely a matter of engaging the power of positive thinking... the idea that by wishing hard enough, one can change a hope into truth.  It infers that if you can just abrogate all doubt, subdue faithless foreboding, then your good feelings can bring about almost anything... perhaps even force the hand of God to do your bidding.

But that isn't how God portrays faith.  Faith comes by hearing and hearing comes by the word of God.  We hear God's word; we listen to it; we drink it in.  And we hear and we apply that word to our lives and by the application of that word to our lives, living that way of life as we are instructed to live, to hear by obedience to that word, we gain a different vantage point to see our lives in the context of eternity, where God lives, instead of from the finite framework of our human sense.  We begin to contemplate everything in the realm of godly vision that stretches beyond the boundaries of time and space and it gives us courage and hope and stamina to pursue whatever path is set before us, knowing that no matter what we see, that God holds reality in the palm of his hand.

Then from that point, we seek out to align ourselves with the will of God, that reaches beyond the realms and boundaries of carnality and we are delivered from that bondage that confined us through the natural fear of death that weighs us down for all our life.

It's only in a child's fairy story, where one might imagine he could conjure up the good will and pleasant thoughts to overcome deadly obstacles.  In real life, belief entails the understanding exhibited by Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego when they were brought before King Nebuchadnezzar when they faced being thrown into a fiery furnace for their conviction of belief.  And they stated to the King at the probable cost of their lives, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If your intent is that we be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up."  It was not the wish of a child in the hope of happy thoughts that saved these men from certain death... they believed and saw beyond this life, to a country whose builder and maker is God.