So Harper is very inquisitive these days. I feel like I always need to be on my toes ready to answer any question, because I never know exactly what she's going to ask. It runs the gamut, really. Everything from "What are those stick things that people keep putting in their mouths that have the mist" (That would be cigarettes) to "Why can't I see God?" They're great questions, but they tend to lead to many, many, many more questions. Harper is a detail girl and she wants to know all the details about everything.
So…I should have known what was coming the other night when she started asking questions at dinner. My brother and sister-in-law and niece have been in town for a couple weeks and so on their last night here we had a big dinner - salad, ribs, spanakopita. Delicious. Well, about 5 minutes into dinner Harper looks at the plate on the table holding a few rib bones.
Harper: Daddy, is that a rib from a person? How do they take that rib from a person?
Me: No sweetie, that's not a person's rib. We don't get ribs from people, they come from animals.
Harper: Well Daddy, how do they take that out of the animal while it's still alive?
Me: Well, they don't take ribs out of animals that are still alive. The animal has to be dead first.
Harper: How does the animal die?
Me: Well, there are farmers that have farms and they raise the animals and then at the right time the farmer will kill the animal, but it doesn't hurt the animal.
Harper: Well how does the farmer kill it?
Me: Well, I'm not sure, sweetie, but it doesn't' hurt the animal. When, God created things he made some of the animals like chickens and cows that we could get meat from so we could have a healthy diet. You know how God made fruits and vegetables so that we have those to eat?
Me: Well it's like that. God created some of the animals that we can use for meat, just like he made fruits and vegetables for us to eat.
Harper: Well Daddy, it's not just like fruits and vegetables. With those you plant the seed and then the tree grows and gets leaves and grows fruit and then we pick the fruit…but you don't cut down the tree.
Boom. Owned by a 5 year old.
Thankfully, my Mom who has been sitting watching this all unfold (and trying not to fall out of her chair laughing) asks Harper - "Hey Harper, what is your memory verse from this week" - completely bailing me out and drastically changing the subject. From the "origins of meat" to bible memory. Just like that. It was a beautiful thing though. Just like that Harper starts rattling off Bible verses. Then, just as I was shocked at her inquisitiveness and reasoning through the whole rib deal I found myself shocked as she perfectly rattled of 6 verses from the Bible that she didn't know 6 weeks ago. It's a beautiful thing, as parents,to hear God's Word pouring out the mouth of your child knowing that she will always have those words hidden in her heart for when she needs them most. My favorite one is actually one that Molly taught her a couple years ago:
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified. Do not be discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
Later that night when I put Harper to bed I asked her to say Joshua 1:9 for me one more time. Then we talked about it. (I'll spare you the details, but it went MUCH smoother than the rib conversation). We talked about what the words mean and about why it's important to our lives and why it's comforting in times when we are scared or discouraged and in times when need to know that God is with us. Times like now.