My two youngest sons and I have a night-time routine. The other night, while having our nightly Q&A, I mixed up the questions. I had already asked the regular questions when we went to the store. I had promised to still ask the allotted amount of questions. I don’t know how many I’m supposed to ask, but the amount has to feel like it’s the right amount.
He sat propped up on his pillows, the cat beside him, waiting assessingly.
“They can’t be silly questions,” he censored.
“Which character would you want to be, if had to choose: John Smith from Pocahontas or Simba from The Lion King,” I asked.
We discussed each character.
“Simba,” he answered, “‘Cause then you get to be king.”
If you had to marry one of the following Disney characters, which would you marry, “Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Cinderella, Pocahontas, Mulan or Belle?”
“Belle,” he answered.
I laughed because they both love reading books.
“If you had to be one of the apostles, which would you want to be?”
“Not Judas,” he answered, thinking. . . “Peter. He was one of the first, wasn’t he?”
“He was crucified upside down on a cross because he didn’t feel he was worthy to die in the same manner as his savior,” I said.
“That’s dedication,” he marveled.
“What about John? He was known as the apostle Jesus loved. Or Thomas – Doubting Thomas who when Jesus appeared in the upper room put his fingers and hands into the holes in Jesus hands, in his side. Or the two brothers whose mother asked if they could sit on Jesus right and left side in heaven?”
“Peter,” he said with conviction.
Peter who walked on the water until Jesus lifted him out of his sinking faith (Matthew 14:22-33).
Peter who in impassioned rashness sliced off the ear of a soldier come to take away his savior (Luke 22:49-51)
Peter who denied Christ 3 times
Yet, he was in the room when Jesus raised Jairus’s daughter from the dead (Luke 8:51)
He was on the Mount of Transfiguration – Luke points out that when Peter woke to see Jesus, Moses and Elijah – he spoke with little forethought, “He didn’t know what he was saying” – but Peter was there (Luke 9: 27-36, NIV)
This man, Peter who was one of the first called, the first to say Jesus was “The Christ of God”(Luke 9:20) – maybe because of his impassioned ways, what you saw is what you got. The amazing moments and the awful moments of failure.
An inconsistent man who never gave up trying.
And when the Holy Spirit fell in that room, Peter never denied his Savior again, the inconsistency became consistent. The brashness, the double edge of the sword of passion, kept right side up – in a gauntlet-thrown-down, Holy-Spirit challenge.
Peter – A man saved by Jesus – and then empowered by the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost to never back away again.
Peter – right to the very end ,where hung upside down on a cross because he was not worthy is dying in the same manner as Jesus, he never denied his Savior again.
This man, Peter, he knew the Holy Spirit. He understood why Jesus sent it, what it did for His life.
Peter, the apostle my son chose to be like. Right now, I don’t think he grasps the all of Peter, or the all of the Holy Spirit. Peter teaches so much about the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit by his failed humanity and ultimate over-coming.
Bed-time tuck-ins are full of sweet surprises. It took us both on a heart journey.