E, who is 6, and I were talking about how sometimes you do something that other people think isn’t right but you think is ok. The conversation came out of reading Beverley Cleary’s Ramona and Her Mother. E loves the Ramona books….I did too when I was a kid and the stories are like a familiar street or smell…they take me right back to elementary school. But rereading them now, I am finding they are still so good at getting kids to really build empathy and use their imagination about how something must have felt. E is always saying, “oh I would hate that” or “I know what that’s like.” And I can tell she is having an emotional reaction to something happening in the book when she gets all tense and stops me and asks if I remember what’s going to happen….like did I remember if Ramona got in trouble for wearing her pajamas under her clothes…she was worried.
ANYWAYS, we were having this conversation about how two people can think different things about something and E said, “I know what that’s like! That happened to me in my own REAL LIFE!” I guess her and her buddy were stomping on little bits of ice on the playground at school and some girls yelled at them, “YOU’RE NOT SUPPOSED TO WRECK GOD’S CREATION!!” And in a very rude tone, according to E. And then she said that she didn’t think it was wrong to crunch the ice and that God didn’t mind. It was fun. I asked her what she did—did she tell that to the girls or did she just ignore them. She said her friend said something and they ignored the girls. But that those girls should not have used the mean and rude tone—She didn’t think that God liked the rude and mean tone.
And I sat there—she had her first lesson in Living with Christians 101. Some people will not think the same things about God that you do. Some people won’t feel the way you do about God and how he does His business. And they might use awful words and mean tones to tell you. And it will probably not feel that great.
We talked about how this happens and that she did the right thing. She kept on knowing for herself that crunching ice is fun and that God probably liked the sound too. And she didn’t use a mean and rude tone back.
Knowing yourself + knowing God + not being a dink about it. These things are pretty much all she needs to know. I’m going to get her a poster of Rachel Held Evans for her room.