My four-year-old daughter has a habit of picking up rocks from the ground and then giving them to people as gifts. So, it wasn’t a surprise the other day when she came home from daycare with a handful of rocks. This time, however, the rocks weren’t stones that she picked up from the ground. Instead, it turned out that she had taken from another child’s cubby. I spoke to her about the fact that taking somebody else’s things without permission is a sin according to the ten commandments while she sat in time out. The next morning she woke up and, while cuddling with me in the chair, the first subject she talked about was wanting to give the rocks back to Miranda at daycare. I then suggested that she might want to pray to Jesus for forgiveness for taking the rocks. Her voice started to quiver and crack as she said, “Ok,” and proceeded to pray to Jesus for forgiveness for taking the rocks. When she finished I assured her that Jesus has forgiven her, that he was happy that she prayed for forgiveness, and that I was proud of her.
Admittedly, as an adult the concept of God and Christ can seem tangential and abstract at times. The real, visible impact that sin and redemption had on Julia that morning was a breath of fresh air for my life faith and it lent evidence to the words of Christ found in Matthew 18:3:
And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
How true. How easy for the child when you simply tell her what she needs to do and without question she then says, “Ok” and does it. Makes me think, “how many things does God tell me to do and instead of doing it straight away I first question?” Anyway, thanks for this reminder that I should remember to pray to God for this kind of faith; the faith of a child.