Grandpa, who’s Faith?
She’s our good friend, Elijah. We don’t see her very often. You’ve only met her once. You were too little to remember Faith. You were just a newborn. Why are you asking about Faith? Was Grandma talking with Faith on the phone?
No. You were just talking about her! Sometimes I wonder, Grandpa. You just said her name! Remember?
Oh, THAT faith! That’s not Faith. That’s faith.
Are you in love with Faith, Grandpa?
No, THAT kind of faith isn’t Faith, it’s right next to love, but it’s not that kind of love.
Grandma says you sometimes preached over peoples’ heads. I asked Grandma what preaching over peoples’ heads means. She told me. I think you’re doing it again in retirement. Grandma says you can’t help yourself. I bet Faith thinks the same thing. That’s why she doesn’t come around anymore.
Elijah, you’re getting a little sassy this morning. That diminishes my faith in our ability to have a good conversation. Maybe we put faith away for awhile until after we’ve taken our naps.
Okay. What’s sassy?
Sassy is smart-alecky, being too big for your britches. It’s not nice. It’s not like love.
I’m sorry, Grandpa. What are britches?
They’re pants. They’re what you wear over your Huggies. Being too big for your britches is like forgetting you’re little.
Okay. What about Hope? Is she coming over?
No, hope isn’t a person. Hope is like the faith Grandpa was reading about this morning. It’s what Paul was talking about: faith, hope, and love.
I don’t mean to be sassy, but Paul wasn’t here this morning! Only Grandma, you, and me, Grandpa!
Oh, not THAT Paul. Not our next door neighbor. This Paul’s been dead now for two thousand years, but he’s still speaking. We still read his letters from Corinth, Galatia, and Ephesus. I was reading from his letter about faith, hope, and love. Remember?
Yeah. But I still don’t know what faith is. What’s faith?
You know how when you wake up in the morning you trust that Mom’s going to take good care of you? That’s faith. Faith is trust. And faith doesn’t stop after we’re out of our diapers. Faith lasts a lifetime; it’s one of life’s essentials. We all have faith of some sort or another. But like Paul says, it’s still not as great as love. Love’s the best.
“Now faith, hope, and love remain—these three things—and the greatest of these is love.” – Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians 13:13 [CEB]
I love you, Grandpa, and I have faith in you. But you’re making me really tired. And, because you love me, too, I hope we can take a nap sooner rather than later before things get sassy again.
- Gordon C. Stewart (Grandpa Gordon) with seven-and-a-half-month-old Grandson, Elijah, Chaska, MN, January 10, 2018.