My daughter is listening.
We spend a lot of time at home and at church and in conversations in the car talking about Jesus. We also talk about Star Wars and the Seahawks and Beanie Babies and track and why socks disappear in the laundry. But Jesus typically shows up in conversation daily. We talk about how He loves us. About how He wants us to love Him. We talk about how our job in this world is to shine and love and pray and care. To be present in people’s pain. We talk about how it is not our job to post a list of rules. We talk about how shame and guilt are not our job or our burden. That God is big enough to worry about other people’s junk. That loving Jesus and loving others is enough. We talk a lot.
So I should not be shocked that my daughter is growing into a lovely human being who loves Jesus. I am overwhelmed with gratitude that she’s learning about grace and love. But last night I had a bit of a panic attack.
Last night my ten year old informed me that she was going to tell her friends at school about Jesus. I gulped. She discussed the options open for evangelism in fourth grade. Her ideas included handing out notes, invitations to VBS, starting conversations and t-shirts. And she decided that today she would start by wearing a t-shirt with a bible verse on it. The back has an amazing promise.
So why am I scared? Because she had decided to share her faith with friends? I should be happy. But I’m confessing to you that I’m scared. I’m worried she’ll get it wrong and the other kids will feel she’s too preachy. I’m scared that she’ll be overheard by a teacher and told to shush. I’m scared that I’m going to get an email or a text or a Facebook message from another parent telling us to keep our nosy religious opinions to ourselves. I’m scared that some kid is going to laugh and bully and bruise my fledgling missionary. I’m scared that she’ll carry the stigma of a goody two shoes and somewhere in high school we’ll be sitting with her crying because she doesn’t have a date to prom because in fourth grade she decided to be brave and tell people that Jesus loves them.
See. Scared. And also disgusted with myself. Those Bible verses about how if we deny Christ to people he won’t claim us with the Father are running through my head. And the verses about rejoicing if people hate you or ridicule you are not providing any comfort. Truly a proud, conflicted, scared, disgusted mess.
That was last night. This morning my kiddo put on her shirt.
And the Bible story Mark 9:23-24 Ran through my head. You know the story? The desperate dad takes his child to Jesus. And Jesus tells him his son can get help if only the dad will believe.
23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”
That mirrors my soul.
You see my Jesus gets that I’m a mess. He understands I can’t do it alone. And He accepts my pitiful prayer of “I believe….help me with my unbelief.” Both in one sentence.
So today I choose to plant my feet with my kiddo. I choose to hold on the promises in the Bible. And I cling desperately to Jesus who is the only reason it will work. And He is patient with me and helps even when what I need help with is being His friend. That’s what grace looks like.
I really never heard of anyone growing in their faith because of a t-shirt. But today I did. My daughter is teaching.
How about you? Do you struggle with this too?
Filed under Faith, Family