23 Sep The Spirit’s stirrings in a young heart.
A couple weeks ago, a little purple plastic gun showed up at our house. I actually recognized it, so when I saw Corban playing with it, I thought it was a boy reunited with his long-lost toy. But when James noticed it during supper that night, he knew for sure it didn’t belong to us. He questioned Corban who reluctantly confirmed that he had taken it from his friend’s house…without asking. (I used to babysit said friend and must have recognized the toy from her diaper bag or house.)
We knew we had to make a big deal out of this, not because little purple plastic guns have any value but because his heart does. We let the mom know we’d be coming over to return the stolen item and to apologize. It was a successful trip, and James and Corban came home shortly to finish supper.
Corban, however, didn’t eat for the rest of the night. In fact, he woke up crying in the morning, fell back asleep on the couch, and didn’t eat breakfast. I kept asking him if he was sick or where he was hurting with no reply and finally got the thermometer out. Since there was no apparent reason for his mood, I continued getting us packed up for mom’s group that morning, but even dropping him off in his class with play dough and dinosaurs wasn’t enough to pick up his spirits. I worried all throughout the morning until finally the Lord opened my eyes! I called James on our way home to prepare him for a lunchtime conversation with his son.
During lunch (which he wasn’t eating anyway), we pulled him toward us and talked to him about the things we had failed to mention the night before. While we had focused heavily on stealing and deceiving and sin and doing something to make it right, we had talked nothing about the freedom of confession and openness to God’s promptings and forgiveness and love. So we did right there. We told him we were proud that he told the truth when James asked him, that we were glad that he had kept his heart open to God, that God was not pleased by his choice to steal but He was pleased by his choice to admit and return, that we loved him so dearly and forgive him and that he was in good standing with us now. After talking, we prayed together.
And you know what happened? He ate his lunch. And asked for seconds. His heart was healing.
When I laid him down for his nap, I decided to have one last wrap-up conversation (I never said I don’t talk things to death) just to make sure he understood what we said to him and that all was well again. Somewhere in there, he mentioned, “Mom, when I get big, I won’t sin anymore.” I told him that his dad and I still sin, but he was adamant that when he arrived at our ages, he wouldn’t. So I told him that there was only one person in the whole world who didn’t sin. He thought long and hard. “God?” he asked. “Yep, His Son Jesus!” And then we continued into the importance of Jesus never having sinned and taking the punishment that our sins deserve. He was pretty upset to hear that Jesus had died (another proof that his heart was just wide open since he’d heard the story so many times, but this time seemed to really hear!), so we took a moment to celebrate Jesus’ power over death.
Then I shared with him my hope that someday he will believe in Jesus like Daddy and I do so that his sins can be forgiven once and for all too! We prayed once again and went our separate naptime ways.
And when he woke up, there was joy on his face as he raced down the stairs. “Mommy, MOMMY! My heart’s not sad anymore!”
Mmm. Isn’t it good to see your heavenly Father’s stirrings in your own child’s heart? I wept with gratitude. Truly, as believers, we are not parenting our children alone.