Last year on Good Friday, the kids and I planned to pray at 3 p.m. in honor of the moment Jesus gave in to his suffering and died on the cross. However, at 2:58 I found myself driving home from our Zoo trip with exhausted kids in the backseat. After making the decision to pray silently to myself, my then 7-year-old son piped up from the back, “Mom, pull over, it’s almost 3!!!” Surprised he remembered, I pulled over on the side of the road where we prayed together for several minutes.
This year we planned again to pray together at 3 p.m. on Good Friday. That morning the kids and I watched a few Bible stories about Jesus’s life, death and resurrection. In the early afternoon, friends started arriving for a swim date in our yard. As the day neared 3 p.m., I wondered again if I should just take a moment to myself for prayer or interrupt the kids so we could pray together. It also crossed my mind that some of these kids might think our family a bit unusual.
In that moment of indecisiveness, I realized that my responsibility as a mom is to live my faith out loud for my children. At 2:59 p.m. I instructed all the kids to get out of the pool for a moment of prayer. There were looks of surprise and confusion, but no one argued. After reminding them of the reason for “Good Friday,” we had a moment of silent prayer. Suddenly, my (now 8-year-old) son volunteered to lead everyone in spontaneous prayer out loud. Tears welled up in my eyes in amazement at his sincerity and confidence in his faith in front of his peers. While I can’t recall his exact words, it was a very powerful moment and I remember thinking, “Wow, my son really gets it!”
Later I asked him what he thought of interrupting the play date to pray together. He said, “Mom, that was cool.” Even our children recognize the need for something truly powerful in their lives.
My job as a parent is to lead my children on a path to heaven. Days like Good Friday make me wonder, who is really leading whom on this path? Through their small acts of pure faith, my children teach me how to live the Good News out loud.
Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all. Luke 18:17