It is a precious thing to see the spiritual life of a young child develop. As I watch our youngest grow in body and mind, I’m reminded again of the sacred trust we have as parents to guide our children’s souls.
Emily has learned to pray. She likes to pray and is very quick to remind me to do so when I set her meals in front of her.
Her favorite is, “O give thanks to the Lord for He is good. For His mercy endures forEVER! AMEN!”
I was suffering from one of my bad headaches the other day and she laid a soft hand of concern on mine. “Would you like me to pray for you, Mama?”
And she did. She knows that when she is sick, I hold her face in my hands and ask for God’s help. Now she does it for others.
The smallest thing will cause her conversation to move God-ward. The evening of Valentine’s Day, she found me in my reading chair, fresh tears on her cheeks.
Will hadn’t meant any harm, but he thought I wouldn’t want her touching one of the roses from my Valentine’s bouquet.
So I let her have one of the velvety pink beauties to admire.
She felt the petals, rubbed them on her cheek, commenting on how “lovely” it felt. (I told her that is what her little ears felt like when she was brand new!) She sniffed the flower, then had me sniff it. She asked about the leaves and the little veins in the leaves. She noticed the color of the stem and asked what it was called. A leaf fell off the rose and she asked if she could glue it on some paper.
Then she began asking about the growth of the flower and whether it would still grow. Then she said, “Who made this flower?”
“God made it, Emmy,” I answered, looking into the exquisite center of that pink rose.
“Yes, God made it. God made everything. He made the sun and moon and stars…” Her list of things went on and on.
Then she stopped suddenly and smiled, remembering something I taught her a few months ago.
“We can’t see God, but he can ALWAYS see us.”
In her preschool mind, things were being ordered. An invisible God who has done visible things in His creation.
Mary, Emmy’s sister who is 17, picked up the flower and commented, “I had a question on my test, and it asked how we know there is a God. I wrote that even though we can’t see God, we can see the evidence for His existence everywhere.”
“Amen,” I said.
“AMEN!” shouted little sister.
When children rise up, when they lie down at night, when they eat breakfast, when they admire something in nature, in the van on the way to school, morning and noon and night, we can point our children to God. (Deuteronomy 6)
To put it in Emmy’s phrasing, “O give thanks to the Lord, for his mercy endures forEVER!” AMEN!”
(Note: the rose photos were taken by Mary a couple of years ago. She has a great eye for photography.)