As planned, on Easter morning a couple of weeks ago, I pulled out the little plastic container of Resurrection Eggs that I'd purchased earlier that week. Each plastic egg contains something that is a visual/tactile reminder of different aspects of the events leading up to Jesus' death and resurrection: praying hands inside one egg mark Jesus' time at the Garden of Gethsemane; a cross made of nails was tucked into another egg to remind us of the manner of Jesus' death; etc. As we read parts of the Easter story from the Bible, I opened all twelve eggs in turn and let the kids examine the contents.
The last egg was empty...a reminder that Jesus rose from the grave on the third day and that his tomb was empty. At that point, we talked again about our hope that some day Seth and Lizzie will invite Jesus into their hearts as their Forever Friend. Matthew told Seth and Lizzie (again) when/where/how he decided that he wanted be a Christian.
Suddenly, to our surprise, Seth said that he wanted to pray and ask Jesus to be his friend in his heart. Lizzie immediately, and emphatically, said that she, too, wanted Jesus to be her Forever Friend. We asked them a few questions about that and then, in a totally unexpected and moving moment, Geoff took Seth onto his lap and prayed with him, and I took Lizzie onto my lap and prayed with her. It was really a beautiful thing to listen to their simple prayers.
Something that I had prayed about many years ago was about the opportunity to be involved in my children's decisions to become Christians...should they choose it. It surely would not have been the end of the world had they made the decision in my absence, but I have been blessed to have been with all three of my children when they made these life-changing decisions.
Of course we're aware that, in particular for Seth and Lizzie, these prayers of faith are based on a very rudimentary understanding of what Christians believe about salvation; they're not mature or knowledgeable enough to have a full understanding of the decisions they made on Easter morning. I also understand that, for now, they accept the truth as their parents believe and present it; we have been talking about these things with Seth and Lizzie for months already, and have been praying for them for a very long time...since before we knew of their existence.
But here's the thing. Jesus himself talked about the importance of living our lives with the faith of a child. And when I watch our children believe with simplicity and certainty, along with the blunt and exacting and authentic questions that they have, I wish that I could have the faith that they do. For them (and for me, for that matter), it is easier to believe in a God who created them and the world around them than to think that a sudden and/or random explosion of gases somehow resulted in the intricacies of the world they see; for them, the idea of Jesus also being God and also somehow living in their heart is a comforting thing and a perfectly acceptable idea; they believe that the Jesus they pray to is their friend and is all around them even though they can't see him; and they accept Jesus as the "only perfect one" (Seth) and the reason they will spend "forever in heaven" (Lizzie) with their God. That's way good enough an understanding of things for now, in my view.
We pray that as all three of our kids get older, the decisions they have made for Christ will remain steadfast and will form the mainstay of their life. I hope, too, that someday we will be able to let Seth's and Lizzie's birth father know that his children now love God as he does - he prayed for this to happen.
It's an awesome thing to know that the kids' birth parents (one of whom is already with Jesus) and the five of us here in Canada have all made similar decisions in our lives - it means that we'll all know each other for eternity after our lives on this earth are finished!
I made each of the kids their own Paska (easter bread)...they ate them for days!