Wednesday, April 21, 2010

How Great Sinners can be Great Saints

This is my son, Nathaniel, and, he is a great sinner. Of all of our children, he is the most challenging. When he is around, the house is a swirl of activity around him. Never one to self-occupy, he keeps everything stirred up, for the good, and for the bad.

He could not be wired more differently than I in terms of interests and abilities. Already, his athletic prowess outstrips mine. He is active and driven. In other ways, we are very similar: easily disappointed and frustrated, with a tendency to pout.

But, he is also one of the most natural evangelists I have ever seen. He goes to public school. He tells his friends about God. My wife overheard him in the car talking to his un-churched friend about how to pray. He strikes up conversations about creation with his friends. O God, may he not lose this when he becomes a teenager!

He is a great sinner. But, of all of our children, he seems most to realize his sin, be truly sorry for it, and struggle with it before God. He shows me the truth of simil iustus et peccator (Augustine's description of a Christian, "At the same time righteous and a sinner."). As exhausting as he can be, he is an example to me, too.

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