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Ecumenical Play Dates

alec vanderboom

Our favorite neighbors came over for a visit today after three weeks of Baptist Bible Camp. Everyone in the house was overjoyed to see them again.

In the middle of the play date, Hannah and her 10 year old friend, Christian, entered into an earnest theological discussion while playing with our new marble game. It was so funny, I had tears in my eyes listening to them.

Christian would propose a vague Christian truth like "The Devil is bad. He didn't like God or something like that."

Hannah would immediately jump on the topic and spout out all kinds of deep theology such as "The Devil's real name is Lucifer. He once was the most beautiful of all the angels. But he told God "I will not serve you" and then St. Michael kicked him out of heaven. Now we all pray the St. Michael prayer to get the Devil kicked out of earth."

This whole praying to St. Micheal thing was totally new to Christian. He clearly enjoyed the conversation with Hannah, however, and tried to keep up. "What about that Adam and Eve? Why did they have to eat that apple?"

Hannah launched into this deep explanation of temptation, sin and the Devil's role in tempting us to disobey God.

At hearing about sin, Christian, the good Baptist, jumped on the bandwagon again. "Sin is bad! But all you have to do is say your sorry to Jesus. You just need to say sorry and then Jesus fixes everything."

Then my darling daughter, the possible future Nun, jumped off the couch in excitement. She started telling her friend all about the joys of the Sacrament of Confession. Hannah talked a mile a minute about going into the confessional and how the priest acts as Jesus to forgive all of your sins. Then Hannah said "the priest is acting as Jesus when he forgives you. Jesus gives the priest a special power to totally forgive sin. You can't see Jesus when you talk to the priest, but you know he's there. . ."

At which point the throughly confused Christian, a child who has never heard a remote mention of the Sacrament of Confession, latched onto the one statement of Hannah's long speech that he recognizes. "Yes, Jesus is INVISIBLE! We can't see him- AT ALL."

At which point, my Catholic daughter, casually flipped her pony tail and said "Actually, I see Jesus all of the time!"

I'm going to enjoy watching that Hannah evangelize the whole world!