Saturday, November 15, 2014

What is Grace? From a 3 year old perspective

My sweet husband taught G to say the "Hail Mary" prayer a few weeks ago and she's been perfecting it every night since. This past week she has been following up the prayer with a question about some word within the prayer. A few nights ago she asked me what sinner means, last night she asked me what holy means, and then tonight she asked me, "what is grace?"

Stop. My. Heart. or SMH for those abbreviation loving readers. She is so thoughtful, smart, and inquisitive.

My answers have been age appropriate but also as close to literal meaning as possible. I've told her that everyone is a sinner. That we all do bad things sometimes, and that if we aren't being good, that's sin. She's used it in hilarious context since. I told her that holy is the opposite of sinner. That people in Heaven are holy, and that if you are really good and be nice to other people then that is holy.
But tonight when she asked me about grace, it was so hard. How would you describe grace to a 3.5 year old??

The definition is "simple elegance or refinement of movement" or "the free and unmerited favor of God, as manifested in the salvation of sinners and the bestowal of blessings" or "to do honor or credit to by one's presence"

There's really no way to break that down on a kid level easily. So I gave it my best shot. And stuck to the Christian definition.

I said that grace is when God helps people be holy, or good. It is when people are full of good feelings and thoughts and they do good things for other people. She seemed happy with that but then followed up with, "where does grace come from?" So I said it comes from God and it's inside people. So then she asked how it gets there. {I wanted to tell her that we get it at Communion and at church, but I didn't want her to worry that since can't have grace since she doesn't get communion yet--so I left Communion out of it.} I just said we get it at church, when we go to church and sing songs and say prayers. Then God puts grace in our bellies. I said that it goes in our bellies like magic from God and then it goes up into our brains and helps us do good things for others. So then she asked how God does magic.... (I mean.... I don't know okay! LOL) I said that God can do anything and he is so awesome that everything comes from God and he can really do all kinds of cool things, even cooler magic than Abbie Cadabbie (from Sesame Street....).

She wasn't convinced. She asked several more times how God gets grace in our bellies. And I tried a few different word combinations to explain it. Then she absolutely floored me and said the following.
G: "I think that maybe God puts grace in our bellies when we go to communion and the big people up there give us stuff and we get grace from God in our bellies like that."

I KID YOU NOT. This amazing three year old just gave you the most basic description of the beauty of Jesus/God in the Eucharist. All by herself.

I love her. I love how beautiful her mind and heart are. Thank you Jesus for giving me this most amazing gift. God is so amazing and I just know he has been leading her little heart through this prayer and learning what all of the words mean in it.

And the coolest thing is that she started asking those questions all on her own because she wants to understand the words she has been taught. I know Mary is up in Heaven totally smiling and clearing a place for this sweet girl in heaven. She will move mountains some day. But for today.....she's a totally typical 3.5 year old that had a meltdown because she didn't want to leave her best friends house.

1 comment:

  1. What a sweet conversation! I can't wait until Lucia starts asking about those things!


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