They call me Big Mama. The nickname started as a joke during training but has become a thing at camp. The campers (and even the TeeLeaders) didn’t quite understand at first. Eventually they simply accepted that it’s my name so they call me Big Mama. All. Day. Long.
“Big Mama, can you open this?”
“Big Mama, I need to use it!”
“Big Mama, how many cool pops do I get?”
At 5ft even I am neither considered big nor do I have any children to call me “Mama”. So the name is just ironic enough to hilariously stick.
I think God shares my love of irony. He is known to send in the weakest link to win the battle, or the smallest kid to take down the giant with one stone. He put little kids on the throne to rule entire nations, spoke through the mouth of a donkey and became a human to save humans.
This is what Brian Zahnd calls “holy irony” in his book, Beauty Will Save the World. Zahnd writes, “…the holy irony perceived in the prophetic metaphors is that the monstrous beasts are conquered by a little slaughtered lamb.”
There is beauty in the irony of letting the little children come to Jesus. Any logically minded person would expect the King of All to let the important world leaders and very rich and famous come to Him first. Those are the people making headlines and changing the world right? Not in the eyes of Jesus. He lived out a truth that can be difficult to grasp:
All people matter.
The poor, the wealthy, the underdog, the champion, the infants, the elderly, the sinners and the saints. Jesus treated each person he encountered with value. I mean, He paid the ultimate price for all people, right?
So I, serving as one who is small and insignificant, see the holy irony in small children playing a big role in the kingdom of God. And I am honored to be a part of that irony.
I bless YHWH for the chance to live out His beautiful irony this summer at Camp Faith. May the kids see His love lavished everyday in ways great and small. May His kingdom be built on the truth that all people matter because he loves them with a great and fierce love.