This week our kids are loving every moment of their time at VBS (Vacation Bible School) at our church, the theme being "Sky." Their time during the 3 hours every morning this week includes reading Bible stories, playing games, making crafts, having snack (the most important part of the day) and doing really cool science experiments. They sing lots of songs (we have the CD) and pray. There is a Bible verse they learn every day, of which they remember, but I do not. They LOVE everything about it.
Today at C's t-ball game, A was playing with her friend Olivia. They were at the park, swinging away, and apparently discussing big thoughts and beliefs. We had been home about 15 minutes, only to have A say, "Mommy, did you know that Olivia and her family don't believe in God? They don't believe there is a God or Jesus or anything like that. Why?" Wait, what? "Oh, really? Well, how did you get talking about that?" "Well, I was talking to her about VBS and telling her about everything we were learning. And then that's what she said to me." "Well, there are some people who don't believe in Jesus. It's just the way they think." She didn't say much about that and stood thinking about what I had said.
It is so interesting to have these conversations with our kids about beliefs we have verses beliefs their friends have. I distinctly remember an interaction C had with a friend around Christmastime: He had been playing with the Little People nativity scene and had put Joseph on top of the stable. He thought this was hilarious and said something to the effect of, "Hey! Did you see what I did to Joseph?" His friend looked at him and said, "Who's Joseph?" I knew that wasn't going to be the last time our kids would be explaining the ins & outs of the Bible story characters.
What's hard about this for me is that I struggle with how to handle it. It certainly isn't my place to tell the child what is right or what is wrong. I certainly can't talk to the parents about it and tell them what's right or wrong. The one thing I DO know is that our kids are sharing their faith the best way they know how. They are singing the songs when they don't realize they're singing them. They are talking about the games they played with their small group. They are reciting the verse of the day with the Bible buddy they were introduced to that morning. It's the small things they do that I know will make a difference as they interact with their friends who believe, but even more so, with their friends that don't.