Have I mentioned how great my wife is at writing? Well she’s rad- take a look.
“Mommy, I can’t sleep,” is what I heard last night when both kids are usually sound asleep. He was wide awake, climbing on the railing of our stairs and trying not to smirk. His eyes shifted behind my husband and I, and his smirk was no longer hard to contain. “What’s going on, Mom? Was that a bomb? Did that news just say we are at war? With who? Can I watch?” I looked over at Levi and we both just seemed to have an entire conversation with our eyes. “No. Go back to bed and dream of monster trucks and fast cars. Dream of being a scientist that cures cancer,” is what we wanted to say. Instead, as if accepting some sort of defeat- we dropped our shoulders, hung our heads, and told him to come snuggle up and we would explain everything.
“So will Daddy go back and fight?” was his first real question after explaining the bombing of Syria. Thankfully, we could say no. Of course, he was instantly relieved and then all of the sudden decided telling us what he would do if he were President of the United States. Being the people we are, we challenged every plan of his and undoubtedly frustrated him. He quickly realized it’s not so easy to be President. You can’t just do whatever you want (ahem….or SHOULDN’T). After a while he quieted down, and just watched the news with us. Eventually we all turned off the TV and went to bed.
The following morning I decided Ayden would in fact be- President of the United States of America. We threw out all the math, spelling, and reading and focused on the current events. Ayden appointed his little brother as Vice President, and of course I became an adviser. We ate breakfast, watched the most recent developments of Syria and ISIS- and then got to work. We’ve talked so much already about ISIS and current events that he was thankfully pretty aware of what was happening. To be sure, I went ahead and asked him questions to make sure he really understood. I really wanted to take a back seat, and do my best to not influence his answers. So I just asked questions, and wrote down his answers word for word. It should be noted, the President requested to just be called, “Ayden.” ;o)
Me to Ayden: There’s a problem in the world right now, what is it?
Me: What about war?
Ayden: This one is like bad, not good. Not that war is good, but this one is bad. Ishl….Is…Islams are killing Christians.
Me: Are they just killing Christians, and is it all of Islam or a group that came out of Islam?
Ayden: Some, not all of Islam are killing lots of people, not just Christians.
Me: Why are they killing people?
Ayden: Because they want everyone to be Islam. They are asking people to like, convert to Islam and if they don’t they are killing them.
Me: Why are they doing that? What’s their end goal?
Ayden: They want the world to be Islam. Like, they want everyone to believe in their God.
Me: Don’t Christians want that too?
Ayden: But Christians don’t kill people that don’t believe in Jesus. We just kind of tell people about Him, and then just…you know…like walk off.
~~Right here we took some time to talk about extremists in religion- all religions. We talked about what terrorists are, and how even out of Christianity can come evil. Ayden was very. We took a good hour to just talk about it and process it together.~~
Me: OK Ayden, so we know what the problem is. As President, how do you intend to solve the problem?
Ayden: I don’t know. Like, that’s just a really hard question to answer…I just don’t know.
Me: Well, I could help you make a list of choices and then you could choose from that list. And as we go through making the list, you can try to think of other ideas as well, ok?
Ayden: Ok. Yeah, I just don’t even know like…how to help.
~~So at this point, I mentioned the choices President Obama has right now. We talked about the nuke, we talked about battle, we talked about humanitarian aide. Ayden came up with some ideas, and I did. We compiled the following list (these are his words too):
1. Train other Armies to fight the battle on their own
2. Drop the Nuke
3. All Christians and good guys go fight by air, ground, water, and swimming.
4. Only humanitarian aide.
~~Notice that doing nothing wasn’t on that list. I had suggested it, and Ayden very confidently said no. It was not an option to him, to do nothing. At this point we systematically went through the list and talked about the effects of each choice. After discussing these, Ayden changed his list to the following:
1. Train other Armies to fight the battle on their own
2. Evacuate all refugees, provide them homes in the US with foster families and in the White House. When all good guys are out of the area, drop the Nuke on the bad guys. Then, help bring all the refugees home and help rebuild their country.
3. Soldiers will got to battle form the Air force, Navy, Army, and Marines.
4. Humanitarian Aide only- but a big one. Like, all the Christians go and help and if they die because of the bad guys it doesn’t matter because they will go to heaven. I think that’s what Jesus would do.
~~So we went over the list, and Ayden decided on number 2. I then explained to Ayden that he first needs to have congress approve his plan- and that’s going to be hard. He’s going to need to convince them that it’s the best plan. Ayden took some time to think about it and when he was ready, he gave me reasons for his plan. I didn’t write any of that down, I just listened, because I was just really into it. But he wasn’t convincing, and congress did not approve. They were worried about the overall cost of a plan like that, and that it seemed unrealistic to be able to move an entire country to America- and only the good guys. Financially, politically, and for homeland security’s sake it was just too risky.
Ayden and I then went back to the list and he chose to send the Military to strike and help teach the Armies how to fight- essentially he chose what Obama did but with boots on the ground right away. Of course, Congress approved this plan and Ayden was very excited.
“Are we done? Is that it,” Ayden asked. “Well,” I said, “not really. Do you believe in Jesus as God?” Ayden replied, “yes,” as if to say, “duh Mom.” “Does God have something to say about our enemies, and about fighting?” Again, Ayden replied, “yes,” but this time he become more quiet as he thought.
Me: Ayden, what is our chief goal in life, our purpose?
Ayden: To glorify God and enjoy Him.
Me: Should we see if your plan glorifies God?
So we grabbed the bible and opened it up. First, we read Luke 6:27-36,
“But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.
Hmm. Ayden quickly began to question his plan. We then read Romans 12:14, and 12:20
“Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them.”
“To the contrary, ‘if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’”
Proverbs 27:14-15 Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, lest the LORD see it and be displeased, and turn away his anger from him.
“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?”
Now, I understand that we need to take context into the picture, and we’ll get to that as we continue to study this. I’m going to keep this going as long as Ayden is interested. But for now, I decided to stick to the basics as much as possible. After reading these verses, and examining the life Jesus lived, Ayden’s belief that Jesus would not harm anyone was confirmed for him. In Ayden’s word, he was, “in a pickle.” How, as a Christian, does Ayden also lead and protect his country? Can he do both?
“Mom, It’s like I’m the President of the United States, and God is the President of me.”
We sat there for a bit…quiet. A couple times Ayden began to come up with ideas on how to make one of his Presidential plans work, while glorifying God but then he would stop before he even finished, realizing it wouldn’t work. Then Ayden said, “I would rather have God then be President.”
I said, “Ok.”
And that’s where he left it…so that’s where I left it.