The lent was over last weekend. It had been an interesting 40 days. Personally, it was filled with anxiety, despair, anger and otherwise busy. So, now that Jesus was risen from the dead, it was probably time to relax. But, the emotions remained the same because living circumstances never changed. So, I just happened to ask my 5 yr old Claire, this Friday afternoon if she knew what sacrifice was. She said “Yes Daddy”. I asked her to tell me an example in her own words so that I could understand what she had understood about sacrifice. She fumbled to put her thoughts together. So, she asked me to give her an example. I told her to imagine that if I was driving near a mall on a Friday afternoon with $10 in my pocket and the theater was playing a movie I loved to see. I had 2 choices. One, to watch the movie with the 10 dollars. On the other hand, those 10$ could buy 3 cans of milk for my kids. And given the uncertainties of our jobs, that would mean those 10$ could mean 3 weeks of milk supply. And as a parent that would be a kind of sacrifice I needed to do consistently. My 2 yr old Noah was playing around and he kept asking what we were talking about. I explained to him and moved on with Claire because she was ready with her answer. She said that if she would see a pizza and wanted to have it, she would sacrifice it. I challenged her a little further. I told her that it was more of resisting a temptation rather than a deep sacrifice. “Think of another example”. And immediately she said “If I were to see a very nice art kit in the mall and would want to pick it up. But, I won’t. Because we have so much art supplies lying around at home. So, I would wait till I had used all the art supplies at home before looking out for one”. I immediately took the opportunity to tell her that she had got the point very well. I told her that’s what businesses do all the time. That’s their job. Keep tempting us into buying things we probably don't need. And we need to think of those who are not as privileged and see what we could do for them. And then I was all happy with this conversation thinking that in spite of the amazing strife in my mind, I was able to talk about an important subject calmly to my 5 yr old. My 2 yr old was playing around and I thought he must have had no idea of what we were talking about. And then we moved on with our day. And I had no idea of what was to come.
The next day, which was a Saturday, I settled down after a cup of tea to get on with my project. And then in a little while both my kids came to me. The 2 yr old had a 1$ note in his hand and the 5 yr old had a 5$ note. They had been saving money in their piggy bank whenever they did an excellent job. And they are amazing. My 2 yr old gave me the 1$ and said “Here dad. We have lot of money in the piggy bank. This is for you.” The 5yr old quipped “ Daddy, you buy so many things for us. The next time you buy something, use that 1$”. And then she went to mommy who was busy getting breakfast ready and said that she was putting the 5 dollars in the box where she was saving some of her money for poor children.
First of all, I was all teared up. And then what had started out as a lesson for the kids had turned out to be a lesson for me. Grown-ups have a lot of moral stories to tell in theory. But when it comes to putting them in practice, we wait for the next chance to execute. What my little ones did this Saturday morning was exactly put the WORD into action. And the risen Lord Jesus must have been absolutely proud. No doubt why Jesus loved kids.