At the ripe old age of four and a half, my awesome, precocious daughter loved church. In Sunday school, they had been discussing the “black” page of the Wordless Book which represents a heart darkened by sin. (Romans 1:21) As adults, we often miss the depths of a little’s ones absorption of a concept and this case was no different. Abby had paid very close attention and God was planning to bring this lesson into reality.
Abby’s day started out wonderfully. She soared through her first trip to the dentist and was proud to hear that her dentist always got the best people. From that point on, her day took a downhill turn in the area of “right behavior choices”. With bedtime approaching, I had let her know that I had forgiven her wrong behavior choices during the day and that I knew tomorrow would be much better.
While I laid in bed beside her for prayer time, she very pointedly asked, “Do I have blackness?”
“What?” I asked with wrinkled brow.
“Do I have a black heart? Is there sin in my heart?” My eyebrows jumped up at such unexpected questions.
“Did you sin today?” I calmly asked while desperately praying for wisdom.
“Yes,” she replied resolutely.
“Well, then, there is probably some darkness there,” I ventured to say. “But, you know, you can ask Jesus to forgive you and wash away any darkness or blackness (since she specifically called it that) and He will do it.
At that, she instructed me, with her hand over my mouth, to be quiet and “Don’t say anything ’til I’m done.” She was obviously self-conscience over what she was about to do, but she did it!
“I’m gonna pray and you be quiet.” She then turned on her tummy, put her forehead on her folded hands, and began. “Dear Jesus,” she whispered softly, “would you forgive me?” She paused. “Would you forgive my sin and wash away the blackness? Amen.” Sincere. To the point. No excuses. No fluff.
As I blinked back the tears, I let her know that if she meant her prayer, that Jesus had just washed away her sin and had removed any blackness (her word choice) and had a given her a fresh start with a light, clean heart. She was content and so was I.
Jesus tells us that little children have wonderfully pure hearts and that it is their pure, loving heart that He wants ours to imitate. (Mark 10:13-16)
It seems that the older we get, the harder it is to be simply honest with God – even though He knows our situation thoroughly. He isn’t looking for perfection…just pure hearts that come to Him instead of turning our backs on His goodness as we react to our guilt.
Do you need to imitate an innocent child as God directs and ask His forgiveness for any darkness in your heart caused by sin? Wisely follow the example of the children Jesus so highly esteems and watch wonders unfold in your life.