How to respond?

Brian’s heart was burdened today by the happenings in Syria…God has given him a continual burden for the direction of our country and also its role in international relations.  He talked to me about it in the car today…and Lewis was in the back seat listening so intently…his little heart has been grappling with big subjects lately.  He sees things in clips, hears nursery rhymes, reads stories…and is beginning to hear more depth than before.  Some things he says when grappling with these issues make me laugh…but some really scare me.  There have been several of these lately.  He needs things explained.  He cannot wrap his head around them.  My heart is burdened with having to explain things to him that I don’t think a four year old should ever have to understand.  I have to seek the Lord to be able to explain them in a way his heart can understand…in a way that turns his little eyes to the Lord.

He asked me, after daddy was finished, if the people in Syria were going to come kill us.  Wow.  Just to hear those words from his mouth…but why wouldn’t he think this?  I told him that the people in Syria were fighting against each other.  He asked why and I told him as simply as I could, “because they don’t have God’s love in their hearts, they don’t want to compromise, and they don’t want to forgive…they just want to fight.”  He said, so beautifully, “mommy, why doesn’t someone go and teach them about God’s love so that they can stop fighting against each other?”  We talked about missionaries and how they go around the world to different places that God sends them to, to teach people about God’s love.  Lewis then prayed for God to send a missionary to Syria.

Later, I felt a prompting to talk to him a little more about it…I told him that it really makes me sad to hear about what is happening in Syria…and asked how it made him feel.  He said emphatically “I don’t want to be sad!”  I replied, I don’t either, but there IS something we can do when we hear terrible things happening around the world and around us and when we feel sad about it.  We can pray for the persecuted Christian church in Syria.  We can pray for God’s love to be taught and to enter the people’s hearts who are fighting, and we can make sure WE don’t fight…that we learn to communicate, compromise, love, and forgive each other in our hearts and home.  These are things we can do to respond to the sorrow (and a variety of other normal emotions) that naturally come with the effects of living in a fallen world.  There is much power in prayer.  And Lewis is just beginning to see that–how much God delights in the prayers of His people…and how much God hears and sets about answering our prayers…and how merciful He is to answer them in incredible ways.  I looked at his face after we talked…he had a content look in his eyes now…not so sad…but not hardened in indifference…a glimmer of HOPE shining deep inside.

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