A few years ago Jonah and I were in my car together on our way to somewhere, probably Target, probably so that he could talk me into buying him toys. He was in the back seat and being unusually quite for a little boy who can talk a blue streak. It was summer time, and the air conditioning in my car wasn't working very well, and for a second I was scared that Jonah had lost consciousness in the heat.
"Jonah, are you ok?"
"Yeah, I'm just sitting here. I'm thinking about my enemies."
What?! Enemies?! And then he started listing them off, including a cousin who, in order to protect the child, I'll call Jack.
I said, in an attempt to be the good aunt, something about Jesus wanting us to be nice to and love everyone.
"Oh, but I hate Jack!"
So much for my teaching moment. It took all I had not to laugh. It's important not to laugh out loud at the kids when they are being so serious. I have, though, told that story a thousand times and laughed at it ever since.
Jonah turned 8 years old this month, and his baptism is this coming Saturday. A couple of days ago I was talking to my dad on the phone, and mentioned Jonah's baptism, and Dad said, "Did you tell him that if he's going to be baptized then he needs to forgive his enemies?" I had not! I did talk to him about giving up his toy addiction, and he assured me that that didn't need to happen until he turned 12, so he's good there.
I probably should ask him about his enemies, just to make sure that his conscious is clean before Saturday. Although, I'm sure that Jonah is the good guy in these scenarios, kind of like Batman and the Joker. No one ever tells Batman that it's time to forgive.