I can’t believe I’m arguing with a five-year-old about why kids cry.

I saw a big kid picking on a smaller kid a few days ago. Ironically, Big Kid had been crying just a few minutes earlier when someone else had whacked him. I thought it was a good time to have an adult conversation with Big Kid about his childish behavior.

Me: “Why were you hitting him?”
Big Kid: “I wasn’t.”
Me: “Yes you were.”
“No I wasn’t.”
“Yes you were.”
“No I wasn’t.”
(It became obvious that this approach wasn’t working.)
Me: “How did you feel when someone hurt you earlier? I saw you crying.”
Big Kid: “I wasn’t crying.”
Me: “Yes you were. Why were you crying?”
“No I wasn’t.”
“Yes you were.”
“No I wasn’t.”

Although the conversation was getting nowhere fast, it made me think about the times I cried when I was Big Kid’s age. I’m not talking about when I cried from falling off my bicycle or from getting beat up by the neighbor girl. I’m talking about real tears: the empty and lonely times when I would cry myself to sleep.

I don’t remember why I cried myself to sleep back then; I guess I was afraid. As an adult, I’ve mastered the art of self-sufficiency so I don’t cry myself to sleep anymore. I’ve traded tears on the pillow for worrisome nights when I don’t sleep at all. Worrying about money, or house repairs, or career, or my own kids seems more rational . . . in some way more mature.

In my grown-up worries, I have heard God speak. I believe that in the midst of my worries the God of creation has every right to prove Himself, to get loud and display the history of His faithfulness, to get up in my face and argue that He has never left me alone. Yet God doesn’t argue. God speaks to me — not in an audible voice — in a whisper louder than sound itself. In the midst of my fears, God whispers a simple question of a Father to a child: “Do you trust me?”

Calvin G. Roso © January 2014

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