The Child Litmus Test

I’m homeschooling my son this year for the first time. As my son and I delve each morning into the content and value of our prayers, as that is the first order of class daily, he’s slowly beginning to understand what auditory caring is.  He’s always been a caring kid and has a big heart, which he’s not ashamed to share.  But putting that caring into words has never come easily for him.  He lags somewhat in language arts and we’re catching up. This morning I was reminded again, that even though I question how much he’s absorbing of the outside world, he seems to be focused on many of the right things.

During our prayer this morning I was asking open-ended questions about the “T” in the ACTS prayer model.  So we started talking about the thanks we were offering.  Most of the time this has been relegated to God.  In fact, I don’t remember the last time it wasn’t.  This morning he added an Elder in our church to his thanks.  He thanked God for Travis.  “And thank You God for Travis always singing those good songs.  And thank You for his guitar…” 

People seem to be down right now. Folks are on edge. There is a restlessness and discord sewn into every person I run across. No matter how things may look, always remember there’s another realm out there at play.  …And it isn’t always a bad one.  I’m not just saying this because he’s my son.  I watch the children of our culture, as they are indicators of early truth.  But…  If the world was full of people thinking more like my 7yr old, I think God would be more pleased.  He’s a pain in the butt kid, make no mistake.  But his draw to the things that are truly important and his dismissal of those things that aren’t, continually proves to show an innate moral compass for me to ponder.  His love guides him.  And I want to encourage this at every turn, rather than see it squeezed from him by the world.

My Elder at church is no different than anyone else who is making a distinct discipling effort. The work and dedication come at a cost. Financial, spiritual, psychological, and so on. He works his butt off and I have no doubt he sees precious little return for his time and passion. In full disclosure, I too feel this way. But, when I listened to my boy offer his “Thanks” component during our prayer and discussion, I packaged it up and emailed it over to my Elder. He needs to know he’s making a difference in people’s lives.

What kind of world might we live in, should we make the effort to tell others they matter? Better yet, how could the community around us look and feel if we chose to view and respond to it through the eyes of a little boy that embraces the best in every situation? That sounds a lot like love to me. …And if I’m not mistaken, love is our mandate. I read that in a really great Book somewhere.

Be salt and light my brothers and sisters. I beg you.

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