Saturday, 29 January 2011

Out of the mouth of babes

St Mary's Church, Eversley

I have recently started reading “For the Children’s Sake” by Susan Schaeffer Macaulay upon a friend’s recommendation. This is a book about "what education can be--for your child, in your home, and in your school. It is based first on a Christian understanding of what it means to be human and on the Christian meaning of life." In the early pages I came across a quote which made me exclaim “Yes!” and beam with delight at this book in my hand. "Get to know [your] child...Get a few really good books, and read them together aloud...If you have the courage to be honest, that youngster's comments and questions are really going to make you think, think hard. You can throw away all the manuals. That child has an awful lot to teach you. Your mind is probably in a worse state than his."

This spoke to my heart. For I am learning a lot from my 5 year old. My mind is definitely in a worse state than his!

I was feeling sad one day as I wrestled with an issue where I needed to admit I had been in error. Harry noticed this, and asked why I was sad. I decided to be honest, and levelled with him. “Because I’m feeling burdened by my sin, Harry” I replied. He looked at me, and quick as a flash responded “Then why don’t you go to the cross?”.

I sat there, stunned. Not only did he have the exact solution to my problem, the childlike way in which he expressed it completely floored me. Here was someone who had grasped the truth behind this verse: “Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.” (2 Corinthians 7:10). There was I, struggling with worldly sorrow, feeling miserable that I had drifted away from the Narrow Path. There was Harry, encouraging me to transform my worldly sorrow into Godly sorrow! The innocence of a 5 year old's mind, as yet uncorrupted by the need to maintain a fierce pride in self.

Cross in churchyard at St Mary's, Eversley
We went for a walk that weekend past a local church, St Mary's in Eversley. Harry spotted a big wooden cross in the churchyard and exclaimed excitedly “Look, Mummy! There’s a cross! You can get rid of your burden now!” I smiled. I had already dealt with the issue in prayer before God, but I thought it might help Harry, and me, to have the visual reminder. I walked up to the cross and said a silent prayer. My burden was indeed lifted. Harry jumped around in delight.

Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."
(Matthew 19:14)


  1. "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." Proverbs 22:6

    What a lovely bond you share with your son, Diana, both as mother and child and as children of God. It speaks well of your relationship that you were able to not only share in such a moment but to also carry it out at Harry's suggestion, upon seeing the cross. I love your last paragraph and the wonderful visual it created for us all; and then, too, your last sentences, "My burden was indeed lifted. Harry jumped around in delight." I could not only picture it quite vividly but I felt so uplifted as if I should be jumping around in delight too! Thank you very much for sharing this honest and beautiful narrative from your daily walk! I greatly appreciate it!

  2. This made my day! Most of the words of Godly wisdom in our family come from my 10 year old Niece, Ashley. It was such a treat to think about Harry jumping around with Joy for the Lord. I really feel so blessed to be allowed a little glimpse of the bond shared between you and your Son. Amen Harry!

  3. Now this is precisely what Susan Schaeffer Macaulay is talking your child the certain dignity to actually be powerful enough to teach you a thing or two, and mean it!

    What's so beautiful is that although you had already dealt with the matter in private prayer, you gave Harry a visual feast in seeing you "go to the cross."

    While it's true that children have the capacity to grasp deep truths, hey need it to be shown to them in concrete ways.

    Bravo, Mom.


  4. Beautiful! There is such an all-around humility in this little story that you have recounted. While Steven & I don't have children of our own, there are many precious little souls in our world and we have been blessed to hear God speaking through them many times in sweet and unexpected providences. May God bless you and Harry (and hubby, too!) and may we all heed the words of our Lord and suffer not the little children!

  5. What a beautiful recount of those special words and moments. Jesus loves the children, and I think I might know why. :-)

    Most touching, the way you reinforced that whole sweet lesson by going to that wooden cross!

    "I walked up to the cross and said a silent prayer. My burden was indeed lifted. Harry jumped around in delight." What a beautiful picture. No camera needed!!

  6. Love this! Thanks for sharing this moment with us.

    I love Elizabeth's words when she says that you gave Harry a visual feast in going to the cross... So true!

    May we have eyes to see and ears to hear all those daily little lessons around us.

    Much love!

  7. Hi all - and Ruth, what a lovely surprise to see you leave a comment! Thank you so much!

    Thanks for all your kind comments. You all encourage me so much. I think I will have to start calling you my "Barnabas" friends :)

  8. This is such a touching account! It is also a beautiful truth.

    It is also a wonderful thing to homeschool. I homeschooled both of my children. My son is grown now and living in another state, and my daughter is in her senior year of homeschooling. I have read that book, but it was so long ago. It seems like it was about the Charlotte Mason Method.

    Enjoy these years...they are so precious!


  9. Hi Theresa - I don't actually homeschool, but the book is filled with such good wisdom (yes, the Charlotte Mason method) that applies to parenting just as much as homeschooling. Thankfully we have access to a good local school which has a Christian ethos.

    I am filled with huge respect for those who do homeschool, it is surely taking seriously God's command to train up our children in His ways. I pray you have been mightily blessed through your endeavours.

    Blessings to you.