My son Jonah is what people tend to call “a handful”.
Recently diagnosed on the high-functioning end of the autism spectrum, he is a busy, brilliant, frustrating, loudly energetic bundle of boy.
He also amazes me on a pretty regular basis.
My 13-year-old daughter came home from a mission trip quoting that verse I shared above. It’s not one that I recall having taken note of before, but I love it. It meant a lot to her, too, as they worked at a day camp for underprivileged children and gave out food and water to the homeless.
As for me, I’ve been in a bit of a dry spell recently, spiritual-wise. Daily bible reading has shifted to the back burner, and I haven’t been making the time to pray and study as I should. We pray at mealtimes, and bedtime every day, but I have to confess that I am not the best example to my children of what it means to be a student of God’s word.
That’s probably why what happened tonight both shocked and humbled me.
Jonah has a little collection of bibles. He loves them. Often if he’s scared at night, he’ll sleep with one. Although he reads several grade levels above his own (he’s starting kindergarten next month), I was never really sure if he actually read the bibles or just knew from being taught (and my all-too-rare example) that God’s word is a source of comfort in this family. Whatever the reason, his sleeping with a bible is a behavior I find endearing.
A few minutes after I tucked him in tonight, he came wandering into the living room and asked if I’d like to hear what he was just reading in the bible.
“Um. Sure! Of course!” And as is often the case, I didn’t know what he would say or do next, but he certainly had my attention.
He settled in his dad’s chair, opened his bible to Genesis and started reading to me about Adam and Eve. He read, in the sweetest, softest little innocent voice, for a solid five minutes, and that little smarty-pants pronounced nearly every word correctly!
But what’s amazing is that earlier tonight, his sister told me a joke about why Eve was called woman. (Because she was so pretty, that when Adam woke up and saw her, he said, “Whoa, man!”) I didn’t think Jonah was even listening to her, as he was busy jumping on the sofa (and getting scolded for it). But apparently, he was listening. Because it was still on his mind at bedtime and he looked it up to see if it was true or not! And he did this without telling anyone he was doing it, or asking for help.
Mama. Mind. Blown.
Maybe he just got lucky because it is near the beginning of the book and he didn’t have to look far? But still. I feel like I just got trumped in Bible Study 101 by a five-year-old!
Our kids are listening, y’all. They’re listening and watching and seeking even when we aren’t aware of it. Man, that’s a humbling truth for a Christian mom to realize. May we give them good things to see and hear and witness.
God, thank you for my children and all the things they teach me.
(I was trying to sneak what would’ve been the cutest pic of him sitting there reading, but he saw me and had to strike a pose. Little stinker!)