Our then pastor, and still family friend, said to her daddy and me, "When we raise our kids in a home with a foundation that believes in God and follows God's truth, when we invest in their education and send them to a Bible believing school, and when we are committed to attending church and serving as a family in ministry... why would we be surprised when they "get it" and make a profession of faith at an early age." That’s all we needed to take her seriously. She was baptized just two years later.
I don't know why I was surprised this past Friday night when his words rang in my mind once more.
The kids and I went to dinner after football practice. We love Taco Thursday, it's kind of our thing.... only we didn't make it on Thursday night but went on Friday instead. We all order tacos, munch on salsa and chips, and then we just talk. Daddy works nights so this time is usually just the three of us. We were happily chatting about the day, about school, about practice, and Saturday's game. We texted funny pictures to daddy as we waited a ridiculously long time for our food. We played games on the silly coloring mats restaurants give to kids to keep them occupied... and we laughed. It was great fun.
Behind me sat a couple, quietly eating and enjoying their time. Honest mommy moment-I was aware of them when we walked in. I was aware they were different, part of me was aware that the kids might notice and say something... something that makes parents cringe... something that kids say and then parents should apologize for.
In the middle of our fun one of them got my attention and told me what great kids I have. They thought our kids were just so well-mannered and couldn't believe how well behaved they were. They told me that and they told the kids that. The kids said thank you and we turned around but they wanted to keep talking to me, so I did. As someone who loves Jesus, I kept thinking and praying for an opening to share the love of Jesus with them but an opportunity didn't come. So, I remained friendly and kind. It was about this time that my son gave them a few strange looks and then tapped on my shoulder... Moms, you know the tap... the tap that helps you remember the original concern for the cringe worthy comments you knew where coming the moment you entered in the first place. I quietly told him to wait, he could tell me in a moment... I just kept thinking, keep him silent - don't let him say what's been on your mind since you walked in.
The couple left and then I gave my son permission to tell me what he needed to tell me... what I expected was not what came out of his mouth.
"Mom, I wanted you to tell them about Jesus." "They needed to know that Jesus loves them."
My mouth hit the floor and it stayed there.
Kids get it... ya know?!? They just get it. My kids didn't see this couple as I did, with the preconceived notion of judgement I had considered just by looking at them. Instead, they, with a childlike heart just know that people need to hear about Jesus and how much He loves them. Period... end of story.
So, driving home I couldn't help but recall our wise pastor... only this time, in my mind, he was saying, "Your kids know and love Jesus. You and everyone around them is teaching them to be evangelical and love the lost. Your son loves the lost and you are surprised when he wants to talk to all people about Jesus; regardless of where they come from, who they look like, or any perceived lifestyle choices."
I am so grateful for childlike love, innocence, and a heart like His!
I drove, we talked. We talked about what mommy was doing in her mind when she was talking with the couple. That mommy had been praying for an open door to talk about Jesus. That mommy also had to consider the surroundings, that they (my kiddos) were with me and the conversation could have gone so many, etc., etc., meanwhile the Spirit had opened the door... He called upon my son to open the door and I silenced him. We talked about listening to the Spirit, we talked about things he could have said, ways he could have been bold. And I apologized for not trusting him.
Lessons aren't always for the kids - sometimes they are wiser than they know. Their faith is simpler, their dependence is greater, and their understanding is what Jesus wanted us to know all along... Love me and love others.