A few years back I read a little story about Kevin and I’d like to introduce you to him. Kevin is 30 years old and stands a little over six feet tall. But as a result of a long and difficult birth he reasons and communicates with the capabilities of a seven-year-old, and he always will. Kevin’s world is much simpler than yours and mine. To us, his life is monotonous as he is up before dawn each day, off to work at a workshop for the disabled, home to walk the family cocker spaniel, return to eat his favorite macaroni-and-cheese for dinner, and later to bed. The only variation in the entire scheme is laundry, when he hovers excitedly over the washing machine like a mother with her newborn child.
Kevin does not seem dissatisfied. He lopes out to the bus every morning at 7:05, eager for a day of simple work. He wrings his hands excitedly while the water boils on the stove before dinner, and he stays up late twice a week to gather the family dirty laundry for his next day’s laundry chores. Saturdays are his special day as his dad takes him to the airport to have a soft drink, watch the planes land and speculate on the destination of each passenger. This makes Kevin shout and clap his hands.
So goes his world of daily rituals and weekend field trips. He doesn’t know what it means to be discontent. His life is simple. He will never know the entanglements of wealth or power, and he does not care what brand of clothing he wears or what kind of food he eats. His needs have always been met, and he never worries that one day they may not be. His simple trust is so great that he knows no worry.
His hands are diligent. Kevin is never so happy as when he is working. When he unloads the dishwasher or vacuums the carpet, his heart is completely in it. He does not shrink from a job when it is begun, and he does not leave a job until it is finished. But when his tasks are done, Kevin knows how to relax.
He is not obsessed with his work or the work of others. His heart is pure. He still believes everyone tells the truth, promises must be kept, and when you are wrong, you apologize instead of arguing. Kevin is free from pride and unconcerned with appearances, Kevin is not afraid to cry when he is hurt, angry or sorry. He is always transparent, always sincere. And he trusts God… unreservedly.
I envy Kevin. Kevin thinks God lives under his bed. At least that’s what he said one night. He was praying out loud in his dark bedroom, and said, ‘Are you there, God?’ ‘Where are you? Oh, I see. Under the bed….”
You see, to Kevin, God is easily found under his bed, in the closet, right beside him as he goes through life. Kevin knows nothing of theology, but Kevin has faith that rises above our mortal questions and doubts.
The question we must answer boils down to this: Is he the one with the handicap, or are we?
After all, we have all the fears, the pride, the doubts, the uncertainties that disable us and keep us from trusting God. When our Savior tells us not to worry about food or clothing, not to fear or doubt (cf. Matthew 6:25-34), we are the ones that seem to think our God doesn’t know what He is asking. When God tells us to love one another, we are the ones that argue and pout and claim we can’t or won’t do it.
One day, our Savior will come back for His people and take us home to be with His Father forever. Don’t you suspect that it will amaze us to really understand and appreciate just how close our God has really been to us all along? Will we realize then that God meant all those things He said about caring for us and being with us?
Almighty God, may we pray the simple prayers of a boy who believes you live under his bed. May we have the simplicity of trust in You and Your word to calmly believe and go forward in our lives each and every day!
— Lester P. Bagley
Minister Casa Grande, AZ, church of Christ