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Wednesday, April 27, 2005
Blue Skadood. . . . . we can too!
An icon of the baptism of Christ sits propped up in a chair in the corner of my office at the seminary. It was a gift to the seminary from the graduating class of 1995 in honor of our friend, then Dean of the Chapel Jerry Mercer. A deep blue river flows out of a seeming rift in a rocky mountain range. John the Baptist is on the left side of the river. Three angels are on the right side of the river. Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the World, is in the middle of the river. A brightly illuminated, focused beam of light streams out of the sky and down onto Jesus. The form of a dove captures the center of the stream of light.

Every time my family comes to the office for a visit, my 2 year old daughter, Mary Kathryn, climbs into that chair. Resting on her knees, she begins to touch the picture, tracing its lines and imagery with her hands and asking me questions about what she sees. Her favorite question: “What’s he doing Daddy?” Just a couple of weeks ago she pointed to the dove descending from the heavens, inquiring, “What’s that Daddy?” So I made an attempt to explain the Holy Spirit and to tell her what God was saying to Jesus from Heaven. She didn’t seem too interested in my explanation. A few minutes later I noticed her still in the chair and still on her knees. With her small, pudgy index finger she was tracing the streaming flow of the Holy Spirit coming from the Father in Heaven onto the Son in the water in the form of the dove. And she was singing, “Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. . . Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so. . . Yes Jesus Loves me. . . Yes Jesus loves me.

And I thought to myself, “She’s got it!” In some mysterious way, grace was working through that icon to draw my little Mary Kathryn, a 2 year old, into the very story the image proclaimed. The love of the Father lavished on the Son in the gift of the Word and Holy Spirit. The love of the Son unleashed on the whole World through the gift of baptism. She skadood into the Trinity. . . . .


posted by John David Walt | at 4/27/2005 11:27:00 PM



Blogger Eric said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:08 PM EDT  
Blogger Eric said...

What a beautiful image - the gospel, pure, unadulterated, simple enough for a 2 yr old to comprehend. No questions as to whether or not she understands who Jesus is, or whether her theology is "correct." That will come in due time as she grows. I think that your beautiful daughter illustrates for us how we are to approach those who are not yet active participants in the story of redemption. Man, J.D. keep sharing.

By the way, I thought that you would like to know, I used your inimtate sonship, extravagant friendship idea in my newsletter this month...and yes I did quote you, I hope that's OK.

3:10 PM EDT  
Blogger Fitz said...

Why can't we adults get it like the kidlings do?...we have the great ability to complicate matters with non-essentials...Keep It Simple, Stupid!...Jesus loves me, this I know!

12:28 PM EDT  
Blogger matt said...

More later--I'm going to get back to blogdom one day soon, I promise. But I saw this and had to post a comment. I'll never forget the first time I heard you talk about "skadoo-ing" into the story of God. What a beautiful thought--and a beautiful reality when I see it happen in my life. Your words are so very rich. Thank you for speaking.

8:08 PM EDT  
Blogger Michel said...

Skadoo is right! Icons used to be thought of as the "Windows to heaven", you look through them to the truth that is behind them... it looks to me like Mary Kate fell right through the window frame, and into the truth. (There is a poem here...)

6:03 PM EDT  
Blogger UCM said...

I remember being in chapel that day, ten years ago, and the surprised look on Dr. Mercer's face! Thanks, JD, for all you are doing at Asbury. I had the chance to hear you at Passion 05 in Nashville. I didn't get a chance to meet you pesonally, but your sessions with the leaders really ministered to me.

9:35 AM EDT  

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