Our youngest daughter, Mary Mitchell (1 year 10 months old), has been missing me. Apparently, she gets up in the morning and points toward my bedroom door calling, "Dada," over and over. But, Charlotte (3 years 11 months old) tells her some variation of this:
Daddy's not there. He's in Nicaragua being a missionary, telling mean people about Jesus. But, his love is still in your heart, so just hold your hand to your heart, and he'll be there with you.And if you know Charlotte, that's how she talks.
First, her words do my heart good.
But, you might be wondering about the "mean people" thing. When Charlotte first started realizing that some people (even cartoon characters like Swiper on Dora) can be mean, she started asking why that is. I've always told her that it's because they don't know Jesus.
Besides being an easy answer, it allowed me to ask a follow-up question. "So, what should we do when people are mean?" And even a 3-year old could figure out the answer. "We should tell them about Jesus." If the problem of sin is caused by not knowing Jesus, then the obvious response is to tell them about Jesus. I think this helps her turn the issue of someone else's meanness into a call for her to act in a loving way.
It also introduces the concept that sin is the result of not following Jesus, which I pray will one day lead to her truly knowing Jesus.
And Jennifer told me of another related story from this week. Charlotte has been going to her first-ever gymnastics camp. It's a one-week camp her G-Ma (grandmother) gave her for her 4th birthday coming up. Well, one day this week, the teacher informed Jennifer that Charlotte had been pushed in class. Jennifer asked Charlotte about it, and Charlotte seemed a little sad. But, Charlotte also said, "It's OK. It's just because they don't know Jesus."
Oh, how I love my little Charlotte Moon.