Sometimes we are amazed at how much our children take in and understand about our life in Sojourners Community. In fact, we are often startled by their perceptions of things and how their little reflections and expressions become such important lessons to us.
Annie Soley was 3 years old at the time. Her mother, Ginny, had had a hard day. Around bedtime Annie was fooling around, as kids are prone to do, when her mom lost her patience and scolded her. Annie's feelings were hurt. Ginny felt bad too. Later Ginny came back into Annie's room and apologized to her little daughter for being short with her. As it was told to me, the conversation went something like this:
Ginny: "I'm sorry I got angry and raised my voice with you, Annie. I had a hard day with lots of pressures on me."
Annie: "So lots of pressures makes you yell at small children?
"I guess so, Annie. I'm really sorry."
"It's okay, Mom. But you know what I think?"
"I think you need to go to the park with me tomorrow, just to play. You shouldn't work, and we'll play instead. I think you'll feel a lot better, Mom."
"That sounds like a good idea, Annie. Tomorrow we'll go to the park."
"Good, but tonight it's dark and we can't go to the park. You know what I think you should do tonight, Mom?"
"I think you should kiss me goodnight, and then go into the other room, sit in the rocking chair, and pray for a while."
Ginny spent the next hour. in prayer. And the next day Ginny and Annie went to the park. Annie was right; Ginny felt a lot better.
Annie is now 5 years old. A few weeks ago when Ginny was putting her to bed one night, Annie was very troubled. She was talking about South Africa and about all the people being killed there. She had especially been struck by news reports about people being hung.