Each evening I tuck my nine year old in bed. She is the only one of my kiddos who still likes to be tucked in by Mommy. My teenagers will hardly walk within 50 feet of me, much less allow me to tuck them in. (I’m kidding! Well, when they need money, they’ll walk a little closer!) I’m really enjoying the last few years of tucking in that I have left before my youngest decides that she too, would rather just holler out, “G’night, Mom!”
As I walked upstairs, I collected about a dozen items off the staircase. There seems to be a continual “trail” of books, shoes, school papers, and socks telling me the story of where each child was in the house after school. Amazingly, I can tell by the trail of items where each kid was, what they ate, and what they were doing just by following the paths of stuff left out. They think I’m psychic, but I just know they’re messy…shhh, let’s keep that between us!)
Once I reached her room and deposited the collected items on her bookshelves, I grabbed her blankets, fluffed her pillows, and stopped dead in my tracks. Her white headboard had writing all over it. It was graffiti that had been done with a black permanent marker, and at this point I knew that there was no hope of washing it off. What almost angered me quickly turned into a joy. No, I wasn’t happy that she wrote in black marker all over her white headboard creating this detailed display of graffiti. I was taken by surprise and found my heart melting as my eyes were drawn to several crosses mixed into the writing.
My daughter’s graffiti consisted of phrases such as, “I love Jesus”, “God RULES”, “Jesus got nailed to the cross for me”, “God is love”, “He is the only one to believe in”, “Jesus is my hero”, and many more. So many more that it completely covered her headboard. She also drew crosses that she mixed in among her thoughts. Now, if a parent is ever going to be speechless, it’s going to be at a time like this.
To go from the initial reaction of anger to joy in less than five seconds is hard to describe. I quietly sat down on her bed next to her and listened to her read each thought she wrote. We talked about God, Jesus, and having to paint her bed white again. And then I found myself wondering if it really mattered that her bed be repainted. When a nine year old writes her love for Jesus in black on white, that’s fairly black and white to me that her faith is just that with nothing less in between.