Sunday, February 8, 2015

you don't know everything, but you know enough.

Ossi has been badgering me about jump-rope for heart. The kid desperately wants to donate.

"I don't care about helping people, I just want the prize," he admits openly.

Tonight I attempted to walk him through the logic of giving, purchasing, navigating charities, and acting from particular motivations. These such lessons are an off-the-cuff sum of knowledge I've picked up somewhere, current topics of study in my online classes, and pure inspiration from a loving God.

Looking back on those conversations... oh, so many... fills me with humility and gratitude for the education I have and the background of moral standards that have come from trying to follow the Savior.
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So I held up a toy. "Let's say you have $50 and you want this toy. You can buy it at jump-rope for heart for the full $50 or you can buy it at a store for $20 and keep the change. What would you choose?" Ossi tried to change the parameters of the situation to make the question simpler and more advantageous; "Let's say that jump-rope for heart gives me the change. Let's say the store has the wrong toy." No. No.

He chose the jump-rope for heart toy, but reminded me with force that it's not because he cares about "old" people. This is where inspiration comes in...

"Ossi, do you want to donate to jump-rope for heart because you want people to see you donating?" Yes. He thought maybe he could make people at school like him more.

So we turned to the scriptures and read (while he hid his head under his pillow and complained). We read the scriptures found in Matthew 6, but not the ones that are probably the most applicable. That chapter specifically talks about not donating to charity just to be seen (verses 1-4), but we ended up reading about treasure on earth and treasure in Heaven (verse 19-21).

Of course, all four of the kids were listening. Because Ossi was still under his blanket I asked Liam to explain a little. I asked him, "do you think it's more important to get things or help people?" I heard two little voices respond, "help people." Finn had chimed in with Liam. Then Evy said, "what about me?" I asked her and she quickly responded, "I would want to help people." Ossi groaned in frustration that his three-year-old sister had just answered so confidently.

Some times I feel like we live in a black and white world like in "The Giver" and Ossi is the only one who can see in color. He comprehends joy the other kids can't understand because they've not felt it, and he knows pain in a way that they don't. He sees the complications of the world, but lacks the life experience to analyze the paths and choose. Moral codes are so easy to accept for the three and so difficult for him.

He came out from under the blanket. "This is too much to process," he said. I was proud that he found the words for his frustration. All I could do was walk over and scoop him up. Turning down his covers I found a pair of black pants and a black shirt that he'd stashed (he'd been planning to break into people's houses and see that no kid ever gets coal in their stocking for being bad). I sighed. And I just hugged the little guy. I said if he ever needed some help to decide if what he was intending to do was a good idea or not, he could run his idea by me and I'd help him process. Then I made the bedtime-kiss rounds.

Ossi, you don't know everything, but you know enough. Enough to keep the commandments and to do what is right. You have a good heart and  in time the weaknesses you face will become your greatest strengths. I believe in you.

1 comment:

Marie said...

Grandma Re believes in you also. Love you Ossi.