Amidst plates circling the dinner table and clattering forks following suit— I almost didn’t hear what she said. I might have missed it completely if she had not jabbed her petite pinky finger up toward my face.
She said it again. This time I heard her loud and clear—
“Pinky Pledge, Mommy.”
“Do you pinky pledge that God is real?”
My pinky locked with her own— brown eyes staring into blue. And I just told her.
I told her what I knew to be true. Well, all I could sputter out in 45 seconds.
She smiled, looked away, nodded her head in a satisfied staccato, then continued lining up her tiny ponies.
“Ok–ay!” She Chirped.
Activity resumed all around us but I froze for several seconds.
All this imperfect struggling to be always funneling truth into their shampoo-scented heads and it sneaks up on us, sharing the Gospel in tiny four-year-old bites.
This time it wasn’t a planned Bible story time. It didn’t have the feel of some sacred moment.
It was just our real life—
Words drifting around the kitchen, floating on the easy fun of a Friday night.
And you and I know it like we know that iced water is the perfect chaser to a hot latte.
That this is a scary and glorious part of parenting and life in general. That we rarely see all that God is doing. Most of what He does, He does in the secret places.
Somehow I still forget that they are always listening. When Joshua told the people of Israel to lay stones in memorial to what God had done to save them– he said the children would see the stones and then they would ask and they would tell them– oh, would they tell them.
They will ask.
They will notice.
They will have questions.
And we hope that if it is really real and true for us, it will be clear enough for them.
But at the end of our hope that we’re doing it right, there is One who does all things well.
I’m still learning that the journey of teaching them is one of constancy. One of every moment an opportunity– not to anxiously squeeze lessons out of every breath we take, but to teach them as we are going. In the joy we have and the life we embrace. In the gratefulness we walk in and in the hope of what is to come.
As we run into waves and slather on sunscreen. As we play silly games and search for illusive socks.
In the Sunday afternoon moments, when preschool papers litter the kitchen table like paper mache’.
When forgotten paper plates blow across the front porch scattering cold pizza crust and scooters zip up & down the driveway.
When night time dance parties fizzle and we settle down under puffy duvets, red-faced and big-haired. In both the bedlam and the quiet– we get to lay our stones.
Even when we are overwhelmed, we get to be the ones. This is a great gift, this mission of parenting.
Even when we feel stomach sick at our not-enough-ness, we can relax a little.
God is the One doing the calling. But lucky us– we get to translate, we get to extend His offer, we get to keep laying the stones of all that He has done to rescue us.
We get to tell them both with our words and with our laughter.
So let’s tell them well.