Last spring my then 4-year-old son started developing a problem dealing with death. It was a dilemma that my wife and I were not expecting. I mean, who thinks you’re going to have to explain death to a 4-year-old?
Well, that’s the situation we found ourselves in and it was a difficult thing to deal with. But it was, nevertheless, a very comical situation.
My kids attended a non-denominational pre-school at the local church and every Thursday they had a period where the teacher would introduce them to religion. For this particular story, it was around Easter time and the teacher was talking to the students about how one day Jesus would come and take them (die).
So my son began to question her.
“Will he come get me?” he asked.
“Yes,” she replied.
“Will he come get Mommy?”
This did not sit well with him and he immediately told her, “Well, you tell him when he comes I’m not going!”
“I can’t tell him that,” she said. "It's a good thing when he comes."
“No! I don’t care! When he comes I’m telling him I don’t want to go.”
Apparently, this also set off the kids in the rest of the class as well. As the teacher told me that all the kids, one by one each said for her to tell Jesus that they weren’t going either.
A protest had broken out. “We’re not going!” was the chant by about 12 4-year-olds.
Not expecting this outburst the teacher changed the topic and moved on, but she said it was one of the funniest things she had witnessed and she did realize that she shouldn’t have engaged the kids in the topic. Although, she admitted that in her many years of teaching preschool, she never had a child react the way my son did.
Too funny, right? But it gets better.
Fast forward a few days. I was working during the days again, so my kids were being watched by one of the assistant teachers at our house after preschool until my wife got home from work. We really lucked out with such a great woman to watch our kids, but I digress.
Anyway, after school one day, my son, his twin sister and little sister were playing in the backyard. He was standing on the playset with a toy sword in his hand yelling to his sisters, “Let’s get him! Let’s go get him!” The girls, standing at his feet like disciples, began cheering loudly.
Shocked at what was going on, the sitter asked them, “Get who? Who are you going to get?”
My son, not missing a beat said, “Jesus! We're going to get Jesus before he gets us!”
When I was told the story, I couldn’t stop laughing. I told him that he was about 2008 years too late.
Oh, did I mention that my dad is a Methodist minister? I guess it would be bad for business if it got out that the preacher’s grandson was after the Big Guy.