Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Prompt 26: The last person you made a pinky promise to

I nanny for two kids, Max (age 4) and Carly (age 6). The picture to the left is of them with their mom about 2 years ago. They are definitely NOT the easiest kids I have ever nannyed for. Let's just be honest: they are brats. And yet, they have grown on me. Rather than finding the fact that neither child ever wants to wear clothes disturbing I have come to find it strangely endearing and quirky. I've also begun to see working for that family as a ministry to the mom (in large part due to Becky's perspective on the issue). There are some days I can't handle the brattiness, but more times when they're really sweet. Like today, playing "connect 4" with Max and genuinely laughing at the goofy way he was playing the game.

Anyway, this post is about pinky promises. A month or two ago Carly showed me the "secret drawer" in her bedroom that held all of her most prized possessions: a fart machine, a couple of bracelets, a jaw breaker, some Pokemon cards. She made me pinky promise her that I wouldn't tell Max where her secret drawer was.

There's something about being with children that helps me understand what it means to have faith like a child. Carly believes that because she calls her drawer a "secret drawer" that it will forever stay a secret. Disregard the fact that it is simply one of many drawers in her dresser and Max could easily open each drawer and discover her prized possessions. Disregard the fact that a dresser is no spot to really hide anything. Her belief that it is a secret hiding spot makes it so. Just like her belief that wrapping her pinky around mine and saying "pinky promise" will bar me from telling her secrets. She says it is so and therefore it is so.

I often remind myself that I am God's child. That I am blessed. That I am redeemed. And yet, I don't often believe it. What would it look like to have faith like Carly? To truly believe that, for example, saying someone is my best friend and would never do anything to hurt me, makes it so. To truly believe that saying God loves every hair on my head, makes it so.

From a modern, academic perspective, faith like a child doesn't make sense. But there's something precious about that kind of faith. I wish Carly would forever believe that a pinky promise is binding and that the people in her life would not convince her otherwise. I guess all I can do is be the kind of person who doesn't break such promises. Maybe by having people in her life that keep those promises Carly will become the kind of person who continues to trusts and continues to believe - child like faith, even beyond her years as a child. Now that I think about it - I'd like a dose of that "believe in a pinky promise" kind of faith as well.

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