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Chips off the ol’ block

Chips off the ol’ block

Chips off the ol’ block

Sunday, March 4th, 2012

One of our little Kindergarten girls visited the office some time ago and in the conversation very casually mentioned, without a great deal of concern, “Mommy has been getting sick a lot.” My ears perked up. I always try to be in tune with what’s happening in the life of our students, especially when it affects them emotionally. I was immediately concerned for her mother, but just as much for the little girl. Obviously, I thought, it was upsetting her or she would not have felt the need to mention it. “Would you like us to pray for your Mommy?” I asked. The little girl looked up and in a matter of fact kind of way, said “Well, it only happens in the mornings.” She then sauntered out of the room, stopped at the door, and with a curious smile, she added, “Mommy told me not to tell, yet.”

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, some months after this encounter the little girl had a new baby sister to celebrate.

Children have trouble keeping secrets, because it serves no purpose for them. Truth and transparency are not just concepts for children. They are the ultimate reality, the very foundations upon which they engage their world. Their innocence refuses to let them consider the possibility of lies and deception, and therefore they see no need for secrets to be kept. Unlike us adults, who have become more cynical and suspicious, children are trusting and at all times expect and deliver on truth. They exhibit such a pure honesty that it is absolutely refreshing to encounter it.

Awhile back, a six year old student was sent to my office for misbehaviour. This wasn’t the first time he had made such a visit to the Headmaster. When asked about what had brought him to see me, he easily expounded on all that had transpired and readily admitted his actions and his guilt. We discussed alternative behaviours and possibilities, and then I asked him what we could do to help him to make better choices in the future. I asked if we, together, should pray about that. He politely said, “Well, we have been praying at home about this. We get up, have breakfast, and then we pray about stuff, like school and me being good. We have our routines, you know.” I was impressed and congratulated him and his family for their diligence in addressing such issues regularly in prayer. But he then quickly added, “But, we have been getting lazy, at home.” “What do you mean?” I asked. “We have our routines you know, but we haven’t been following them.” “Oh”, I said, thinking he meant just recently. So I said, “Do you mean just the last couple of days or so?” “Oh, no” he said, “at least for a couple of months now. We’ve been getting lazy.” 

I couldn’t help but chuckle. I know the family well. Their devotional life is paramount. But his perception, for whatever reason, was that they were less diligent than he had come to expect, and he had no trouble declaring that, not for reasons of judgement, just for simple transparency.

Our adult world struggles with truth and transparency. These virtues seem to have taken a back seat to other more self serving strategies such as deception, denial and deceit. There is by far, it seems, much more secrecy than truth. 

In John 3:19-21 scripture says: “God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil. All who do evil hate the light and refuse to go near it for fear their sins will be exposed. But those who do what is right come to the light so others can see that they are doing what God wants.”

Here is yet another lesson to be learned from children.

I am not sure to whom to attribute this quote, but we could all benefit from it if we took it to heart: “It is not only important to DO the honest and right thing, but to APPEAR to be doing the right thing.” In other words, may truth and transparency prevail!

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