Monday, September 14, 2009

when I used to be a bad guy: the gospel for my Josu

I just tucked my Josu into his bed, and prayed for "all his sickness" as requested . . .
and as I snuggled close to him and worked hard at patiently listening to him share his pre-nap thoughts and concerns, I remembered that trip on the train home from Madrid . . .

(first, though, you need to know . . . ) I wonder sometimes how to speak to Josu's heart; I have a hard time captivating his attention with biblical stories; I have a hard time engaging him in meaningful give and take; and sometimes I'm just like - - "what in tarnations did that kid just say? Was he speaking English or Spanish?"
so a couple of weeks ago, at the end of that really fantastic, tiring day in Madrid, I found myself paired with Josu on our train ride home to Pamplona; we were drawing together - - I drew a castle and he drew a knight, then I drew the dragon, and then, inevitably, he drew the bad guy.
bother. he's infatuated with that bad guy.
I tend to gently steer him away from that bad guy.
but not this time.
"you know, Josu, mama used to be a bad guy too", I told him.
Never-ever in my life have I seen my Josu perk up so quickly - - his back went straight - - I could literally see his eyes spark with interest. Seriously - - sparks flying. he dropped his pencil.
"you tell me about when you a bad guy, Mama?" he begged.
And so I told him how I had been an enemy of the the great King - - about how the great King had created me and loved me, but I hated him, and because I disobeyed the great King, I disobeyed my parents and I argued with my brothers and sisters, and I was sneaky and lied to my Mama and Papa about the chocolate that I stole. . .
And Josu listened.
and then I told him the extra good bit - - about not being a bad guy anymore because the great King - - God the Father, sent his son Jesus to be punished for all the bad things I had done, and that I trusted Jesus, and that the great King forgave me and gave me the life of a good guy.

and that was that.
we kept drawing.
and late, late that night, in the parking lot at the train station, as Joshua strapped Josu into his carseat, Josu said to Joshua, "Papa . . . Mama used-to be a bad guy . . . "


laura said...

how neat! what a cool way to make the gospel within reach:)

Anonymous said...

What an inventive way to reach Josu! One day he will say my Mamma use to be a bad guy but Jesus, our King rescued her.

You are an amazing Mom Naomi.

Anonymous said...

You should write a children's book:

My Mama was once a bad guy.

Anonymous said...


Caroline said...

What a beautiful story. Aiden and I really enjoyed it! Thank you for sharing it with all of us in such a creative way. You are brilliant!

Amber said...

I LOVE this... what a great way to put the gospel for Josu... I may have to take the idea for my own little one who seems to "like" the bad guy thing too...

A Christian Fundamentalist said...

I was passing through and wanted to let you know that I've enjoyed skimming through much of your blog today. This is one of many lovely posts, with poignant observations about life, Christianity, and ministry.

*smiles* Neat way of sharing the gospel with a child, by the way. I like it.