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A little bird told me to have faith. Well, really he didn’t tell me, but a kind-hearted 5-year-old sure did.
My son, Levi, attended the Colossal Coastal World Vacation Bible School program at Southport Baptist Church in June. Not only did he have a great time, but he also learned a lot about God and his love for all creatures great and small.
A few nights after the program ended, I encountered a spider on the front porch, and promptly squashed its guts out with my flip-flop.
“Oh, no, Mommy,” Levi said, shaking his head. “We are supposed to be nice to all God’s creatures. That was not good.”
He then put his hands over his face and proceeded to tell me how I should not kill another living thing.
“Well, it’s a spider, honey,” I said. “It’s OK to kill them.”
I felt a little guilty saying that, and I certainly didn’t know how to explain my reasoning. Spiders were just evil. They needed to be squashed, right?
“No, it’s not,” he said. “You’re not apposed (supposed) to kill nothing.”
I tried to explain that my interpretation of this rule did not include insects and some varieties of snakes, but gave up.
“OK,” I said. “I’ll do better.”
Of course, I meant I would do better at hiding when I was squishing one of the vile, eight-legged creatures. However, I was very impressed with his concern for other animals and his interest in God.
Over the next few days, we had several conversations about God. He told me about how I shouldn’t be afraid because God would take care of me.
“If you pray, he’ll even protect you from the spiders,” he said.
I felt myself tearing up as we pulled into the grocery store parking lot. He has such a good heart, and had really understood the lessons he learned in Bible school.
This past weekend, we had the opportunity to care for an injured bird. Levi’s dad, Marc, found the bird in the yard. He appeared to be having problems flying, so he scooped him up and brought him onto the screened porch.
Of course, I began to worry about the bird carrying rabies or West Nile virus and made them wash their hands if they touched it. Unfortunately, I was not as active in the bird’s care as I should have been.
Over the next two days, I watched the two of them care for “Mr. Bird.” They made it an impromptu house and fed him oats and worms. The bird seemed to be building some strength after the first 12 hours, and we were all hopeful he would pull through.
Marc and Levi checked on him before going to bed. They were so excited about his progress. I really saw Levi putting his faith to work. He even told me he hoped God would help them save the bird.
I was sitting up late working that night and decided to go and check on the bird before I went to bed. I was devastated to find him lying on his side. He had passed away.
I went and woke Marc and told him. It was 3 a.m., and I thought he might get mad at me for waking him up. Instead, he promptly got up and went outside to bury the bird.
Levi had long been asleep, but as I passed by his room, I heard a little voice say, “Mommy, did Mr. Bird die?”
I was stunned to see him awake, but I gathered myself and told him that, yes, the bird had died. I told him I was proud of him for taking such good care of Mr. Bird and that I thought Mr. Bird was, too.
Marc came in then and sat down on Levi’s bed and told him it was OK because Mr. Bird wasn’t hurting anymore. Levi didn’t ask any more questions and went back to sleep.
The next morning, he came up and hugged me around my knees. He told me he was sad the bird had died, but he was glad he was in heaven. Then he blew me a kiss and told me to have a good day.
Amazed at his ability to put his faith into practice, I have decided to learn from him. I am going to try to have as much faith as my 5-year-old.
As I left for work, I saw a large spider crawling across the bottom step and stepped over him. It’s small, but it’s a start. I think Levi would be proud of me.
Renee Sloan is a staff writer at the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.