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Pastor’s Perspective 10-02-18

Little children are notorious for saying what’s on their mind. They haven’t learned yet how to filter what comes out of their mouth. That often leads to moments of humor. And not so funny moments. I was leading a children’s sermon on the prodigal son in my first church in rural Kentucky. I asked the children how their parents might react if they left home for a long time and finally returned. I was anticipating a response about how happy the parents would be. One little girl raised her hand and said they would whip her with the belt. I know her parents just wanted to disappear under the pew at that moment, but there was no way to escape.

As my grandkids get older and are able to communicate more, we have enjoyed some funny moments as a family. My parents were without power longer than we were during the recent hurricane. We had them over for dinner one evening. Sitting at the table, the conversation turned to hair. My dad made the comment that his was gone. My 4-year-old grandson, Carson, looked at him and said, “No, it’s dying.” Dad called me the following evening just to tell me he and mom had been laughing all day. Looking out the window at his own house, Carson’s younger brother, Caleb, pointed out to his mother a tree at the edge of the woods behind their house that was bending over from the storm. Amber replied that it would probably just stay there. With his thinking face on, Carson said, “I’ve never seen a tree walk before.” She had to clarify that she meant no one would come to remove the tree because it wasn’t bothering anyone.

But it is the words that come out of the mouth of this 4-year-old in his prayers at the end of the day that touch me the most. Unfiltered and from the heart. His latest thing is that one person should pray “for all of us.” A few evenings ago he volunteered to be that person. He said he had a lot to tell Jesus that day. And it turned out to be the longest prayer I have heard him pray. He thanked Jesus for all of the special people in his life. He prayed for his deployed father. And his pregnant mother. With his younger brother lying only feet away, Carson thanked Jesus for his brother. That he can play with. And that he is a “nice brother.” But it was his closing sentence that brings tears to my eyes as I write these words. He ended his prayer saying, “I love you, Jesus.” Within minutes he was asleep for the night. And I have another memory to cherish and an example for my prayer life.

See you Sunday! ~ John