A Child-like Conscience


For the past week or so, we’ve been talking with Jaidin about the fall and going back to school. She seemed excited because her cousin Evan is going to be in her class this coming year.

Then a few days ago, out of the blue, she announces she doesn’t want to go back to Mrs. Zinni’s class. Strange, right? Any of you who remotely know our family, or read my blog, know that she LOVES Mrs. Zinni! I just laughed at her and blew off her little “announcement”. Then last night she says the same thing, to me and Jon. We asked her why, and she said it was because she didn’t want Evan to be in her class. Even weirder, since we all know how much she ADORES Evan.

This morning, on the way to Amber’s, she was awfully quiet. Usually she’s singing at the top of her lungs, or talking non-stop. I stopped at a redlight and turned around to check on her, and she was crying quietly. I asked her what was the matter and she said “One day, I took a toy from Mrs. Zinni’s class.”

No big deal, I thought. Why’s she crying about that? Mrs. Zinni was always giving them little toys and trinkets from her “treasure box”. Almost everyday Jaidin came home with some new something or other. Then it dawned on me…

She had “stolen” a toy from Mrs. Zinni’s class.

No wonder she didn’t want to go back to school. My baby girl felt so bad about her “crime” that she was crying about it.

I told her that it was ok, and to stop crying. When we got to Amber’s, I crawled in the back seat and sat by her. I told her that I was proud of her for telling the truth, that she could return the toy to Mrs. Zinni and apologize at church on Sunday, and that I was sure Mrs. Zinni would forgive her. “You not mad?” she said. ” Not mad…disappointed that you made a bad choice, but very happy that you decided to tell the truth.” I said. I gave her a big hug, and we went in to Amber’s, all forgiven.

When I got back in the car, I started thinking about how her little conscience must have been so troubled. Then I started thinking about my life, lies I’ve told, corners I’ve cut, compromises I’ve made, instead of doing the right thing. We all do it. It’s not right, but we do. No wonder God said we’d have to become like little children to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Lord, give me a conscience like my daughter’s, and the grace to humble myself and tell the truth when I’ve screwed up.

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