If only I could’ve cued the beep for content warning that night. Then I would’ve caught my daughter’s words mid-air and tossed them back from where they came.
After an ideal day of mommy/daughter bonding—painting nails, reading several chapters of Nancy Drew and then dancing to praise music in the basement—she had to ruin it at bedtime, of all moments.
“Mom, I know you’re more spiritual than me, but are you sure God is real?”
Her words bounced from the corner of my mind and straight through my heart. A horrified “What?" rolled off my lips.
“I mean, what if God is lying, and He really isn’t God?”
Scooching to sit on the bed beside her, I met her stare, trying to discern whether she was serious or not. “Of course He’s not lying. God doesn’t lie.”
“But how do you know that He’s not lying and that the devil’s not telling the truth?”
I stuttered for the right words. “Well, I-I just know. I feel it. He’s done so much for me. The truth’s in my heart.”
Her eyes looked away with disappointment as she let out a sleepy sigh. “It’s okay, Mom. Squishy just wondered.”
“Yeah…” She pointed to her head, “That’s what I call my brain.”
With a half-smile, I leaned close in to say, “Well, I’ll just have to welcome Miss Squishy with a kiss, won’t I? Then she can join us in prayer.”
“Will you pray, Mom,” Morgan begged as she tugged the covers and rolled over on her side. “I don’t feel like it tonight.”
Unsettled in my spirit, I scared any hope of sleep away that night. Even if the snoring on the pillow next to me were silent, my worries were rattling loudly enough to raise the roof. I totally botched that conversation. Squishy, huh? Well, obviously my squishy’s name is Mush. I didn’t get it. How does a child who has been saved, baptized and discipled in a thriving Christian home wonder if her faith is just all a big charade or not?
Tear-filled questions turned to prayers. Father God, please help my Morgan. Help her to believe You—with her whole heart, soul, squishy and strength. Show her that You are who You say You are…
I prayed daily for another shot at the subject with Morgan, and after a month, it finally came.
“Hey Mom, guess what?”
“We played charades at school today.”
“Yeah. You know how to play charades?”
“Sure do. Did’ya have fun?”
“Not really, but Squishy got to thinkin’…”
Oh no—Squishy again. “Yeeeeeeahhhhhhh?”
“Um, Squishy got to thinking that—well, God gives us the Bible to talk to us, right?”
“But what about people who don’t have Bibles. How do they know God is real?”
“Welllll…God talks to them in their hearts and through His...”
“Just a sec…but I was also thinkin’ that He doesn’t just tell us, He shows us, too. Like remember when you said about how He’s done so much for you?”
Stunned, I stood there like a statue disguised as a mom. Morgan, however, was jabbering faster than high speed internet.
“I was s’posed to stand there and act out the words ‘I love you,’ but I wasn’t allowed to say it, ya know?”
“When we were playing charades, Mom.”
“But when I was thinking about how to act out ‘I love you,’ the only thing I could think of was Jesus.”
My heart began to race. “Yeahhhh…”
“So, I had to try to get ‘em to guess it, only I couldn’t talk, right?”
“Then Squishy reminded me that’s what Jesus did. He could’ve argued and made excuses. But He didn’t. He died on the cross. No liar would do that for a buncha sinners.”
Ding Ding Ding…Way to go, Miss Squishy!
“Oh—and Mom, I’m no good at charades.”
“They couldn’t guess by my actions, so I finally shouted out, ‘Jesus!’ Even then, only one got the clue.”
“Well, maybe if we pray about it, their squishies will learn that Jesus loves them, too.”
Morgan paused for a moment and then said, “I hope so, but for their sake, I sure hope their squishy knows how to play charades.”
Romans 5:7-9 (NIV)
“Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
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