Imaginary Faith


I never realized we had a lion and a monkey named “Crumbley” living in our house. Well, I never realized it until our 2 year-old daughter told us so.

It started out innocent enough. As we took a walk to the mailbox (a daily walk that takes anywhere from 5 to 25 minutes depending on how distracted our daughter is) I watched as our daughter looked behind us and motioned forward saying “come on. Come on buddy.”

Now this would be standard fair if we had a dog. Heck, I’d even settle for a pet chipmunk. But we don’t. We don’t even have a pet turtle anymore. So I’m not really sure where she got this instinct to encourage something to follow. And more importantly, there was no one (human, animal, or otherwise) for her to talk to.

And then it dawned on me. Leah has an imaginary friend.

“Who are you talking to?”


“What’s your monkey’s name?”


Crumbley the monkey shows up at the house from time to time now. I’ll pick him up and carry him along to brush our teeth. I set him down carefully on the top of the toilet tank where Leah knowingly looks at him and smiles.

As crazy as this would sound if she wasn’t a creative 2 year-old, it made me think about my relationship with God. I wondered if my knowing and faith that God would take care of me and my family just looks like a make-believe monkey named “Crumbley” to those around me.

Odds are, it does at times. Without explanation, faith in anything looks crazy. When I walked away from a great career to do ministry at a camp, my coworkers thought I was an idiot. Heck, when I lose my faith, I think I was an idiot.

At the end of the day though, my faith is also my happiness. When I get to see kids and adults come to this place and discover something greater than themselves who loves and cares for them, that is the purpose of my life. That is the moment when I look at the little monkey sitting on top of the toilet tank and smile at something so many other people miss.