This story actually happened several weeks ago, but I was reminded this morning, and it’s still struck me as a little funny…..
I have a “regular” seat at my church. I think most church people do, but I actually have a regular seat for a regular purpose. I sit with my mom and my brother and sis-in-law’s kids. My dad is always ushering and doing deaconly activities during the Sunday morning service, so he usually joins us later. My brother and sister-in-law often serve in the sound booth or on the praise team, so my mom and I keep each other company and keep and eye on my nieces and nephew. They generally do OK, as long as I come equipped with pens or pencils for them to draw or write….and as long as Mom and I strategically place them in the seating arrangement that causing the least argument.
Anyway, our pastor was preaching from a series in Ephesians. This particular week was the beginning of chapter 6–“Honor your father and mother.” This also happened to be the week that my 4-year-old niece did her best to take notes. I usually take notes on the the provided page in the bulletin. My niece had her copy of the bulletin and was attempting the same thing. She finally got frustrated with asking me how to spell every word, so she handed me her page. The following conversation went something like this:
Niece: You write that (pointing to my notes) here (pointing to her page.)
[Right about the time that she asked me to start, the pastor was talking about obedience. So, I wrote, “Obey.”]
Niece: What does that word say?
Niece: [grabbing the paper back] You didn’t have to write that! [through gritted teeth]
Me: But that’s what he said.
Niece: I said, you didn’t have to write that! [emphatically scribbling out the word]
Me: But God wants us to obey .
Niece: I know, but you still didn’t have to write it.
I did my best to explain that God does want everyone to obey their parents, and my pastor had gone on to emphasize the importance of obedience in other areas (like obeying your boss at work.) So, I did my best to say that God also wants moms and dads, and grandparents, and aunts and uncles to obey–not just little girls. After I said that, she softened. A few minutes later, she even asked me how to spell “Obey” so that she could write it herself.
It struck me as kinda funny at the time. Still, I appreciate her childish honesty, and I believe I know exactly how she feels. When the Lord uses His Word or His people to convict me of sin, I usually don’t want to hear it, either, but I am very thankful that he cares enough to do exactly that.