Sunday, October 16, 2011

Clayton & The Gospel Story

Before falling asleep last night, Clayton wanted me of course to say night-night prayers. When I started to pray (he was in my bed, since his Daddy is away), he started jumping on the bed. So I stopped praying and acted like I just went to sleep. He immediately laid down and begged me to pray again. I said that praying wasn't the time to be silly. This happened 2 more times. Finally I said he was disobeying Mommy and I was not going to finish his night-night prayers if he couldn't be serious. He laid down and cried and begged for me to keep praying. When I asked him why? he said, I really want you to pray, I like that."

I'm not quite sure why I even thought of it, but I asked him if he knew what the word sin meant or the word gospel. He said, "no, what is it?"
I said, "Well, 'gospel' is a story about Jesus. Want to hear it?" Yep. He sure did! My mind was racing trying to put everything in such simple terms. We talked a long time about how "sin" is when we do bad things. Of course he wanted to know, "like what?" was easy to point out his sins (and Sadie's)...when they disobey Mommy and Daddy, when they hurt each other on purpose, when they lie etc.
Then Clayton said materafactly, "and You and Daddy sin too." I had to admit I wanted to feel defensive and argue that I didn't, but like a lightning flash, my impatience, selfishness, pride, doubt, fears...all the thing I know to do and don't, it all came to mind, and I had to say, "Yes, Mommy sins too. We don't have to though, because of the gospel story I need to tell you about." Clayton again, "What is the story?" By this time, I was so emotional, but knew he wouldn't understand that, so I sucked it up with only one tear escaping, I started with,

"Well, you know the whole story about Jesus dying on the cross, right?" (We really worked on that around Easter and ever since) "And when we ask you "why did Jesus die on the cross?" you know to answer "Because He loves us SOOOOOO much, right?" He nodded yes. "Well, Jesus DOES love us, but it is also because every person in the whole world had sin in their hearts, and since Jesus is perfect and good and never sinned, He was the only one that die to take our sins away. When He died on the cross, He knew if we asked Him in our hearts, He could take away all the sins we had done and could live in us and help us be good like Him."

Clayton hopped off the place he was sitting from the bed, and returned with a heart-shaped pillow that I used for birthing Clayton (another story). I didn't know how much Clayton was understanding, and couldn't believe it when Clayton said, "here's a heart, Mommy. How can I get Jesus in there?" It about took my breath away. I had to smile at him holding that heart-shaped pillow! He was so sincere and adorable. I tried to explain, "Well, you know how when you say something mean to Mommy and I say you hurt Mommy's heart?" It was like a light came on. "Oh! yeah." He pointed to his belly-button and said, "My heart's in here." :) Then he repeated, "How does Jesus get in there?" Oh my word...I felt so inadequate to be on the spot, then I remembered, it didn't have to be perfect or a one-time conversation. So we talked a little bit about prayer and how Jesus and God (I didn't want to stretch his understanding by explaining the Holy Spirit quite yet), but that they can see us and hear us all the time even if we can't see them with our eyes. That was more of a refresher course, since we had talked about it a little bit before. And that when we should focus on Jesus and not just ask Him for stuff. (whew! this was turning into more lessons than just the simple gospel) He was sticking right with me though and asking questions here and there. Then I told him, "to 'get Jesus in there' we just pray like this, (I meant to just say a simple pray of accepting Jesus). I was caught off guard when he started repeating what I said!!! The prayer was simple, "Dear Jesus," (he started repeating me right there.) "I'm sorry for my sins. I don't want to be a bad boy. Please forgive me. I want Jesus to come live in my heart and help me be a good boy. Thank you for dieing on the cross for my sins. In Jesus' name, Amen."

I thought there'd be a huge smile on his face or something, but he was just calm and snuggled into his pillow. I forget that we adults, put a lot of "process and expectations" on experience when we can just rest instead.
I always dreamed this day would come, and I'm not pretending to think he won't have struggles or that he even truly comprehends all that we talked about, but I am resolved to do my best to keep talking about the gospel to him, in fact, I told him we are going to talk about it more tomorrow, and he cheerfully agreed.

I thank God for awakening something in Clayton, but it is such a responsibility to teach and guide him, and make sure he sees us walk this out before him. Perfectly? NO! but increasing? YES!

"To God alone be the glory, to God alone be the praise. Everything I say and do, let it be all for you, the glory is Yours alone, Yours alone..." ~Aaron Shust


Yvonne Engle said...

Kara, thanks so much for sharing. This is so beautiful. God works in such awesome ways. It's wonderful to be reminded He knows and hears our desires and prayers for our children. God be praised!

Mommy of Four Bows and More said...

Kara, I love this. I am also struggling with JT during prayer time. I never have thought to sit down and actually explain it like that. I have always looked at him as "too young" I guess thats my foolishness. This was great to hear. Hope you and your family are doing well.

Kara Plank said...

Val, I too used to think my kids were too young to talk "in-depth" Bible things, at least anything past the familiar Bible stories. I didn't know when that "age of accountability" falsely believed that if I shared too much too early, that an exceptionally bright child might be held responsible for knowing but not accepting Christ...A young mom that I look up to who has a bunch of kids, and she grew up not even knowing about God. She once told me that she told her kids every detail about Jesus that she could think of, as young as one or two, so they could know much more about God than she had the opportunity to at their ages. It made sense to me. Just try it. You never know what JT will catch.

Missy said...

Kara, that's so sweet! Thank you for sending me an email saying to come check it out. Those moments are indeed precious! Hope all of you are doing great! Love...