(He was in the bathtub and I handed him an Oreo, because I am such a good mom. ;) )
Asher: "I would like to steal all the Oreos away from all the people."
Me, cleaning the counter or something: "That's not very nice!"
Asher: "Ok, I'll just steal all the bad guys' Oreos then."
Me, still half distracted: "Well Asher, know what? Actually, you shouldn't even take Oreos from the bad guys, because Jesus says to love our enemies!"
Asher, suddenly upset: "Mom! No! I want to take their Oreos! I don't want to love my enemies!"
Me, taken aback by this outburst, and paying more attention: "Honey, we have to love our enemies, because that's what Jesus did when He died on the cross for our sins. Since we were sinners we were pretty much Jesus' enemies, but He loved us so much that He died for us and rose again! Isn't that great?"
And then Asher was in tears, and cried, "Well then I don't want to be HUMAN!"
I didn't realize the gravity of what I was telling my little boy. It's so rote now - Love your enemies, yes yes, pray for those who persecute you, yes we KNOW. But he didn't know! Asher hadn't heard this message of love for those who hate you, and to him it was unfathomable.
How, WHY, are we supposed to love the bad guys? Because He did. He bled and died for his enemies, his children. And most importantly, because He told us to.
Luke 6: 27-28
Asher continued to cry and was obviously upset by this bit of news that as a Christian he is commanded to love his enemies. Little kids are so honest! I told him that no one wants to love his enemies, I don't either, Ash, but that we have to anyway because Jesus told us to. Jesus will help us do the hard things, and we can do them because He already did. Then I tried to move on because well, he is three and it was late, and he was definitely ready for sleep.
Finally he just said, "I just want to be a T-Rex! I don't want to be a little boy forever, I want to be a T-Rex!"
Yep, it's hard to be human. But then Daddy came in and helped get jammies on and because he is a great dad, pretended to be dinosaurs with our young philosopher, and stealthily pointed out the difficulties in being a dinosaur (you can't talk, for one) and how great it is to be human. And Asher forgot all about our upsetting conversation.
One thing parenting has made me realize is that you don't plan conversations like this. I was just chatting lightheartedly with Asher when suddenly he completely broke down - I wasn't trying to preach a mini sermon to him, and I felt a little bit bad that I had even said anything. I had no idea he would take it so seriously.
But I'm thankful for this chance to see the Gospel from my son's eyes - so real, so new, so paradoxical. You mean He has come not to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him? Yes.