Zippy Speaks . . .

Since I’m starting this blog this late in my journey, I’ve decided to post a few journal entries from several years ago.  This one is from September 11, 2005.  Elliot was 6, and Zippy was 4.

Here’s the story:

I am amazed at the number of rapid-fire questions an inquisitive 6-year-old can ask.

When Elliot was 6, we had quite a conversation in the van.  He asked a million and one questions while I patiently, creatively, and carefully answered each question on the randomly chosen subject of stealing from Wal-Mart.

“What if someone steals something from Wal-Mart?” he asked.

I explained that people watch for that sort of thing, and cameras are watching, too.  And, of course, there’s the guy in the blue vest at the door, watching as everyone leaves, making sure everything is paid for.

“Well, what if he made it look like they paid and even put the stuff in bags and everything?” he asked.

I told him, “Then maybe he would get away with it, but he would probably tell a friend later about stealing the stuff.  Then the friend would maybe choose to tell the police.”

“What if he kept it a secret and never told anyone?” Elliot asked, waiting anxiously for the answer.

“Then, that would just be between him and God.  He will have to tell God he’s sorry for stealing because stealing is a sin,” I explained.

Then there was a rapid-fire questioning on the topic of sin.  I continued answering with what I hoped was some simple wisdom.

“But what if the robber never makes it right with God?” he asked.

Hmmm.  I was stumped.  I finally could only give him an “I don’t know.”

At that moment, Zippy, my 4-year-old who had been quiet, in his own little world said something.  As was usually the case, it was nearly inaudible and could not be easily interpreted.  Elliot and I could only make out a few words.  I thought I heard, “Jesus . . . eat . . . him up.”  Oh, brother!  Now there’s some weird theology!

“What did he say?” I asked.

“He said that Jesus would eat him up,” grinned Elliot.

“That’s what I thought he said.” I grinned back.

“NO!” said Zippy.  “I said that Jesus would send a whale to eat him up.”

Elliot and I had big eyes and surprised faces.  Zippy who is so often in his own world not listening had just heard our conversation, was interested in it, was contributing to it, and had just applied the story of Jonah to it!!  Amazing!

As Elliot and I stared, shocked, Zippy continued, “Jonah was running from God so God sent a whale to eat him up!”

“How did he know that??!!” Elliot asked incredulously.

“And how did he know to apply it so appropriately?” I thought, smiling at my boys — my beautiful, smart, surprising boys.

Then I laughed out loud as I pictured the surprised Wal-Mart thief – with his stolen bag of stuff – face to face with a whale.


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