A Proper Self-Image

Chapter 6 [Excerpt]

A Proper Self-Image

The small boy, not quite 3 years old, skipped down the imposing corridors. Armed servicemen, the best of the best, took no notice of the child who ran past their assigned posts. The boy passed several staff members on his way, who likewise took little notice except for an occasional smile. Passing a secretary’s desk, the little boy did not acknowledge her wave, intent as he was on his goal. In front of the door stood another armed sentry. But the guard made no move to hinder the progress of the child who opened the door and went inside. With a grin, the boy ran across the carpet of the Oval Office and climbed into the lap of the most powerful man in the world. Influential cabinet members had to wait to continue their discussion as President John F. Kennedy and his son, John-John, exchanged good-morning hugs and kisses.

The years of the Kennedy administration are memorable to me because they were one of the few times that there have been small children living at the White House. I remember seeing on the news how the president loved his children and delighted to include them in his day, even while attending to matters that concerned the future and safety of the entire world’s population. The contrast has always struck me: the most powerful man in the world, and the little boy who could stroll past secretaries, staff members, and security guards and bound into his father’s arms.

Can you imagine someone objecting? “Now, wait just a minute! Don’t you know who that man is? He is the president of the United States, the leader of the greatest nation on earth. You can’t just waltz in here anytime you want. And you certainly can’t be sitting in his lap! Who do you think you are? John-John would have just looked up at his challenger with a surprised look. Then, with a grin of total confidence, he would have said, “He’s my Daddy!” You see, John-John knew who his father was, and he knew who he was.

The tragedy of modern-day Christians is our utter ignorance of who we are in Christ. After Jesus Christ has done everything necessary to make us acceptable to a holy God, after He has given us His very life to experience every day, too many of us still thrash around in doubt as to whether God will really hear our prayers, whether we’re “worthy” to be used by God in the ministry, or simply whether God really and truly loves us. “I mean, how could God love me, knowing what I am really like?” we think in our hearts.