I was working in the kitchen when eight year old, Avarie, came running inside and grabbed me around the waist. Her arms held tight as big tears rolled down her face and she sobbed, "Mommy, I did something really evil."
I don't connect the word "evil" with a child. So I laughed softly to myself and hugged her tightly. I told her that she probably needed to talk to God about it. Then I disengaged her arms to stir the hamburger browning on the stove top. She insistently pulled me by the arm and said, "Come on, mommy, we have to talk about this." She wanted to be alone where no one could hear.
Because I had food cooking, I sent everyone out of the kitchen and asked her to explain to me what she had done.
It took some time, but she finally started explaining the whole upsetting situation. She had been outside playing when a squirrel started to cross the road. However, a car was coming and our animal loving daughter was worried it would get run over.
I worriedly asked her, "Did you throw a rock at the car or something?"
"No, no, not that," she impatiently replied. "You know the fairy books I read? Well, there is a fairy in them named Beck. Beck watches over the animals. I know she is pretend. But, mommy, I prayed to Beck and asked her to save the squirrel. It was really evil, and I am so sorry," she sobbed. "I know I should pray to no one but God."
Holding her I assured her it would be fine. Although, the meat was getting a bit too brown as it sizzled in the skillet, we stood hugging in the middle of the kitchen. We prayed for God's forgiveness, and we thanked him for loving us even though we sin.
A once more happy little girl, swiped the tears from her face and ran back outside to play. The evil deed was quickly forgotten.
Going back to the overcooked hamburger, I marveled at her tenderness. Her sensitive spirit towards sin put me to shame. How often have I wept over my sinfulness, over the evil in my life?
"Oh, Lord, grant me a more childlike heart. Make it tender to the things that break your heart."