Thursday, November 3, 2011

It Warms My Heart

So there's this post that's been brewing in my brain for quite some time now. I've really been avoiding writing it and I'm going to avoid it one more day but there's something that just warmed my heart this evening that I have to share.

My oldest son is currently 9 years old. I think by the time he was two, he was more mature than most 35 year old men. He is just like his father in that way. Yes, sometimes he will do some stupid kid thing but for the most part, he doesn't have much patience for the foolishness of youth. He's just very middle-aged for nine.

Anyway, he always has had a heart for God and a heart for caring for others. This evening, after mid-week Bible study had ended and we were all milling about fellowshipping, I was talking with a friend of mine. As we talked, I searched the room to make sure that I knew where all my kids were and what they were up to. I saw the two younger boys playing with friends in the back of the room but my oldest wasn't with them. My eyes swept the room and landed on a tight circle of people (adults) sitting in chairs at the front of the room, obviously in prayer. There he was, with fingers folded, head bowed, eyes closed... among four adults, praying. It quite literally made my breath catch.

My son, praying.
Not during services.
Not during class.
Not before a meal.
Not at bedtime.
Not at any of the times that you are 'expected' to pray.
My son, looking very grown up.

Later, he came to me to tell me that someone had given him leftover candy to make sure it was ok for him to have it (also very unusual for a nine year old). I very non-chalantly asked him what was going on in the meeting up front a few minutes ago. He looked at me as if I was dense and said, "We were praying, mom."
I responded with, "Well, yeah. I figured that much out. What were you praying about?"
"Oh. We just wanted to pray over H---, since he's leaving this week for a mission trip."
"Oh. Ok." It was the best I could come up with. For a second time, by breath caught.

Now, don't for an insant think that I think my son is some kind of spiritual prodigy. I'm sure that he was not the one to come up with the idea. I'm sure he was invited to join the prayer. But what warms my heart is that he joined. That he didn't just say no thanks and go off to play with his brothers. He saw this as a worthwhile way to spend the next few minutes. He understood that all things should be brought before God in prayer. To him, bringing H--'s mission trip before the Lord was so appropriate that it was almost passe. His attitude of prayer being an element of life rather than a routine ritual to be performed at appropriate times and events was very clear in his response to me.

How many kids get that?

How many adults get that?

The other thing that warmed my heart later, when I really stopped to think about it, was what happened amongst the adults there. Surely, one of them said something along the lines of, "Let's have a prayer for H-- and the work that he's about to go do." But just as surely, they paused to invite my son to join them. Was he there having a conversation with them? Was he just passing by? I don't know. I do know how much I appreciate that they saw an opportunity to disciple a young boy, my son, and they took it. They invested themselves in helping me raise my son into a godly young man. I am truly, truly thankful for that effort and all the times that someone has taken other opportunities to do the same that I haven't seen. I am thankful for these people that are in our lives who make this parenting road just a little easier to walk down, the ones who take my hand and walk with us, the ones who pass out the water on the way, and the ones who actually paved the road so that it would be smooth.

I also am thankful that we evidently have lived transparently enough for those people to realize what our goal for our children is and how very important that goal is to us.

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