[originally posted on August 6, 2006]
Tonight, something special happened. Each evening ever since we were united with Carlos and Jeremiah, we’ve read a section from our children’s Bible, which includes illustrative pictures. Carlos would quite often ask me to read about the one that had a small picture of Jesus on the cross, but I would always tell him that we had to read other things first (we are reading from beginning to end). Well, tonight we finally got to the chapter that told about Jesus death on the cross and Carlos was listening intently. After we finished, I asked him if he understood what we read and if he knew why Jesus died. He replied, “Because people do sins.” When I asked him what sins were, he said “Disobeying.” I helped to clarify a little bit with him that sins were bad things that everyone did – Carlos, Jeremiah, Mama, Papa, Abuela Oma – everyone! He pointed to the picture and asked, “God disobey?” “No, in fact, he is the only person who has never, ever disobeyed and sinned.” Carlos: “Why castigar (punished)?” Me: “What if when Carlos disobeyed, Mama and Papa punished Jeremiah instead? Would that be very fair?” At this, Carlos got this look in his eyes that seemed to say “Hey, that’s not right!” He shook his head and said that he should be punished. “Well, even though Jesus never, ever did anything wrong, God punished him for our sins. He did this because God loves us very much and He knew that if He punished us, we would need to be punished forever and ever.”
This seemed to satisfy Carlos and then it was time to pray. What happened next surprised me very much. In his broken English, Carlos prayed: “Thank you God for this day. Thank you for the cross. Thank you for dying on the cross and no punish us. Please help Carlos and Jeremiah and Mama and Papa and Abuela Oma and everyone to always obey. Thank you God for love. In Jesus name, Amen.”
Okay, WOW! As I prayed after him, I couldn’t help the tears in my eyes (and even now as I type, they’ve returned!) Jesus said we should come to Him with simple, child-like faith. I’ve never really and fully understood what that meant until tonight when Carlos prayed. I pray that his understanding and faith will only continue to grow through and even in spite of my poor examples and teaching.