Earlier this week at breakfast Hudson was sitting at our counter and we were talking. He looked so very sad and he said to me, “Daddy, Jesus didn’t come”. I asked him what he meant.
He said this, “Daddy, Jesus didn’t come and ring the doorbell. He didn’t come for his birthday. He missed his birthday.”
He had been thinking about this because his birthday is coming up, and he’s been talking about it all the time (he wants an Angry Birds, Cars, and Tree-Rex themed party). And I guess from all this thinking he was actually watching and waiting for Jesus to show up on Christmas day.
I sat down and talked to him about how Jesus was here over Christmas and how he is here with us now. I tried to explain to him how Jesus is a part of our lives. And he just kept coming back to – “But Daddy, I want him to ring the doorbell and come in”.
And to be honest I was a little stuck. How do you help a 3 year old become aware of God’s presence all around? How do you help him enter into the awe and wonder of encountering Jesus? How do you explain to them that Jesus is real, and present but probably won’t ring the doorbell for his birthday?
And if I’m honest with you – I don’t have a lot of great answers. I tried talking some things through but they all fell flat. I guess that’s the joy of parenting, you get to figure it out as you go, and I’m sure I’ll get another shot at explaining it.
So if you’ve maybe walked through with your kids, nieces, or grandchildren I’d love your thoughts. How do you help children experience and develop an awareness of the presence of God? I think that’s an important question to ask, think about, and try to figure out because I want Hudson to grow up knowing the full presence of God in all he does.
So I’m still working that out, and I have a lot of ways to grow as a parent. But one thing made me extremely happy even while I struggle to explain and try to help Hudson encounter Jesus. And it’s this: he was waiting and looking for Jesus and that’s a great start.