“But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:”
1 Corinthians 1:27, 28
Children often impact us in the most unexpected ways. The smallest, they astound the biggest. The weakest, they perplex the strongest.
This week, it was my turn to be left in wonder.
Monday was the first time I babysat for a new family. They have four girls, and a baby boy on the way. The dad is the pastor of a church in town.
I quickly found that the girls love playing outside, so we ended up walking to the park. Even though it is February, the weather has been nice, so it was bright and sunny out. As we were crossing the grass we saw some teenagers sitting at a table. I could tell they weren’t the best group, but the kids and I had just trudged over the four or so blocks to get there, so I took them to the far side of the playground and played with them. Unfortunately the teens were not acting appropriately at all so we soon left.
When I was watching the girls again a couple days later, the subject came up while we were talking.
“Those teenagers at the park were doing naughty things,” one of the younger girls told me.
“Yes they were,” I replied.
We conversed a bit about the sinful actions of those high schoolers and how they were wrong.
Then she says, “I don’t want to be like those girls.”
I had no words. This little kid not only knew what wrong behaviour was but had already decided that she wanted to be different. She was resolved. The seriousness of her face was unmistakable.
“That’s good!” I finally told her.
After that the girls started discussing how they have to go inside when the high schoolers come out (the high school is across the street from their house) because they say bad words.
“Teenagers are bad,” one of them said. “But not you, Leah. You’re a good teenager.”
“I try to be,” I told them. “And I’m sure you guys will be good teenagers, right?”
“Yes! Yes.” I was surprised by how ardently, how earnestly they answered. How certain they were that they wanted to be different.
“Do you go to church?” the oldest girl asked me then.
“Yes I do!” I answered, explaining that my church was in a different town.
Then she quickly demands, very seriously,
“Do you know Jesus?”
Nothing could show you how I felt right then. I was so surprised at being asked that. Like, amen sister! I do know Him. He is my best friend in fact!
And that is the story of how twice in a matter of minutes I almost had no idea how to respond because of the firm resolve of one child and the courage of another.
And the lesson I learned? Simple. Purpose always to do right, and never be ashamed to ask others if they know Jesus. Ever.