Crayons and Stilettos: Being molded is not always obvious

Published 12:36 pm Friday, January 29, 2021

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By Tiffany Evans

Journal columnist

Has anyone else found that your children are extremely chatty right at bed time?

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Every night the same story; we tuck them in, say our prayers and suddenly they must know the answer to every single unanswered question in the universe.

I truly want to have them watch “The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy,” just so that I can tell them that the answer to the meaning of life is one. I realize that in an attempt to evade the imminent task that is sleep, children will suddenly need one more drink of water, remember all the things that they forgot to tell you about during the day, and suddenly desperately need to know such things as why the sky is blue.

That being said, I also realize that in these last few moments of every single day, I get a glimpse into the goings on inside the brain of my tiny humans. It is in these moments that they learn to trust me, and that I get the opportunity to bond with them one on one.

Just recently as I tucked my eldest son in, I said our good night prayers as usual and ended with “Lord help him to grow up in you and to grow closer to you. Help him to be molded like you.” As I concluded with “In Jesus name, Amen,” the questions started.

I could tell by the look on his face that his wheels were turning, and rapidly I might add. Finally, he asks, “What does it mean molded like God?” Such a good question coming from such a tiny individual.

Thinking back on this moment now, I think about how many of us adults struggle with that same question. What does it actually mean to be molded like God. For him, he really just wondered what molded in general meant, and how we could possibly be shaped like God.

I can imagine that in his head maybe he was drawing himself with a beard or with white hair. So, I began to explain to him that being molded like God means to be shaped like God. That we want to take on his attributes, behaviors and characteristics. We want to be “good” people, we want to care about one another and love unconditionally.

As he pondered this answer over in his head, either attempting to actually understand or to stay up later he lay quietly. Finally, he said, “But I am not anywhere near a good person.” Out of the mouth of babes!!

In thinking about his day, he had considered how many times he had fought with his brother, how many times he had refused to share and how many times he had taken an attitude, and after considering this he had concluded that he must not be a good person. To him he only could bring to mind all the times that he did not get along with others, and all of the “bad” things from his day.

What immediately came to my mind was the many times that he has blown me away with his selfless behaviors, and the countless times that he has stepped up to be a fabulous big brother, or to care deeply about someone else’s feelings. So, I began to remind him of these times.

“Do you remember when we were at the Fall Festival at church, and you had each earned tickets to put towards a prize at the end? When we got to the prize table, your brother wanted this stuffed catacorn but he did not have enough tickets. You immediately said, ‘He can have my tickets so he can have what he wants.’ You did not ask for anything in exchange, you did not think about whether or not you would then get a prize. In that moment, you realized how much the catacorn meant to your brother and you selflessly gave up your tickets in exchange for his happiness.”

In response to my answer he simply said, “But I still got something.” He did still get a prize, but when he made this offer of his tickets, he had assumed that he would not get anything and was completely OK with this. To him, this deed and many of the others did not necessarily make him a good person, but were just things that he did.

For many of us, we think about whether or not we are good people, and we naturally focus on all of our many failures. We get hung up on all of the things that we have done wrong, or the day we were not nice to anyone after having a terrible day.

But chances are if you were to ask someone else, they would name a thousand different ways that you were a good person.

For us, we seek to be molded after God. We want to show the love of God to everyone around us. While my son may not have seen himself as even remotely beginning to be shaped like God, questions like the one he posed before bed lets me know that at his heart he is caring, loving and in many ways shaped like God.