When my kids were, like 4 and 6, and throughout high school, I talked to them a lot about God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. I didn’t know about the Holy 3 when I was growing up. I do remember singing the Doxology in church: Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him all creatures here below. Praise Him above ye Heavenly hosts. Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. I thought God was somewhere beyond the sky (wherever that was), and that Jesus loved me (this I know. For the Bible tells us so…). But I hadn’t a clue who or what the Holy Ghost was. When I was 5, I prayed at night, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray thee Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray thee Lord my soul to take.” I actually changed that prayer when Charlie and Erin were 3 and 5 to “Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray thee Lord my soul to keep. Watch me Lord, both night and day. Make it safe for me to play,” because I thought praying about dying every night was morbid.
But through their growing up years, we had some fun discussions. The bible verse that says something like, “Don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing” (Matthew 6:1-4) was perplexing to them. So, I told them that God wanted us to do good things for others without bragging about it or trying to take credit for it. “For example,” I said. “You know that house down the street that has been for sale for a really long time, and the yard is all over grown with grass and weeds, and there’s litter everywhere? Well, we should go clean up the yard, mow the grass, and make the outside look really nice, and we won’t tell anyone we did it, but the neighbors will be happy, and maybe the house will sell sooner.” So the next day the 3 of us spent a couple of hours cleaning up and mowing the front yard, and we walked away grinning because we knew we had done something nice for the seller and the community. It cracked me up the next day when Charlie came home from Danny and Andy’s house and said, “Mom! Mom!! You were right! That house looked so good, someone bought it today! There’s a “SOLD” sign out front!” I didn’t tell them it probably was already close to selling, like in contract, because both kids were just so happy to see that their hard work helped someone.
I was explaining to them another day that the Holy Spirit is invisible, like the wind, but we see the effects of His efforts and He always has us right where we are supposed to be for a reason. They couldn’t quite grasp that until one day when we were driving by a house where an old lady was struggling to shovel the mounds of snow out of her driveway ’cause she couldn’t get her car out. So, we stopped our van, and got out and helped her, and in only about 10 minutes, she was able to drive away. She was so thankful! When we got back in the car, I said, “See, the Holy Spirit had us driving down this road at the exact time the lady was outside because the Holy Spirit knew she needed our help.” “Ohhhh” they said.
Another time we were standing in line at K-Mart, and the kids wished the line was moving quicker. Ahead of us in the line was an auto mechanic fella (his name was sewn onto his work clothes) who was buying only a quart of oil. I chatted with him briefly until we were checked out, and when we walked out the front door, there, smack in the middle of the parking lot was a frantic lady in a conversion van with the engine roaring really loudly. I walked up to her van window and yelled over the loud roaring engine, “What’s the matter?” She screamed, “The accelerator’s stuck! Help me. Every time I let my foot off the brake, the van lurches forward really fast!!!” “Turn the car off,” I yelled. Just as she was turning the van off, the auto mechanic was walking by going toward his truck. I motioned to him, “Heh, can you help fix this lady’s van?” And he came over and adjusted a few things under the hood, and Bingo, every thing was fine. So, when we 3 were back in our van, I said, “Now see. The Holy Spirit guided us to that checkout line, and had the auto mechanic guy in line right in front of us, because He knew that lady would need help from a bold person like me, and a mechanic like that guy.” “Ohhhhh, we get it.”
Charlie and Erin grew up knowing that they were God’s hands, and feet, and eyes, and ears, and voice. They loved hearing my God stories, and telling their God stories as well.