Children think literally. One time I heard a little girl say, “Jesus is in my heart.” Then she pulled opened her shirt, poked her mouth and nose inside her shirt, and yelled, “Hey Jesus, are you down there?”
Children also hear things that adults say differently because they don’t read as much as adults. Once, I told the love story of Ruth and Boaz. I asked group of about 40 kids, “Is anybody here named Ruth?”
I asked, “Do you know anybody named Ruth?”
One little boy raised his hand and said, “I live under a roof.” (I was beginning to feel like Boaz without a wife: “Ruthless.”)
Children are also very enthusiastic, and brutally honest.
One year after Thanksgiving, I asked the kids in the Weekday Ministry child care center of our church what they had done over the holiday. I asked if they had been shopping, and they all raised their hands. I asked if they had been hunting, and again everybody raised their hands. One boy added aloud, “My daddy shot that —-.” I won’t repeat the word that he used, but let’s just say that it was not the name of an animal. His teacher moved like greased lightning to the end of the pew to keep him from adding any more colorful descriptions.
Reminds me a little children’s rhyme, “Oh be careful little ears what you ear, oh be careful little eyes what you see, oh be careful little mouth what you say...”
What influence are you having on the children around you? Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” (Mark 10:14, NIV). My prayer is that I am bringing children to Jesus, rather than hindering them from coming to Jesus.
(Copyright 2011 by Bob Rogers. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Read this column each Friday for a mix of religion and humor. For more “Holy Humor,” visit the Web site of First Baptist Church of Rincon at www.fbcrincon.com.)