One day, quite some months ago now, E (who is two) responded to one of my reprimands with a violent, “But I don’t want to be good, I want to be BAD! I AM BAD!”
Well, yes, yes you are, little one. You don’t even know how bad you are. Mommy’s bad, too. It’s called sin. It’s called needing Jesus. It’s called deserving hell.
Needless to say, I agreed with her out loud, and the dialog has been ongoing ever since. We were driving back from the farm last week, and her little voice calls me from the back of the van, completely out of the blue: “But does R sin, Mommy?” Her questions are kind of endless and often off-topic, but it’s beginning to be clear that she really, truly understands after all this that she is bad. And that Mommy is bad. And that bad people deserve punishment.
That’s all the farther that we’ve gotten. She knows about heaven and Jesus, but clearly isn’t grasping yet that bad people don’t go to heaven except by His grace and His blood. Still, this is a little piece of the Gospel she’s grabbed a hold of, and it’s so very exciting to witness the pieces begin to fall together, wherever God takes her. And it’s been a really good reminder to me of the Gospel itself, as I struggle to put it in two-year-old vocabulary. (The biggest stumper so far: she asked me why Adam and Eve’s sin meant that all their descendants would sin, too. I couldn’t begin to string together an answer that made sense to her.)