The day was January 19, 2020. Precisely 9:50am. I had 10 more minutes to round up my class in the 9 year old section of children in my church. I decided to give them an interesting class assignment. I told them to write a letter to God. And boy, was I blown away. Allow me to take a few steps back and give you a background to my activity that day.I had started a 3 months course in counseling some days earlier in one of Nigeria’s top counseling institute: Attitude Development International (ADI). The last 3 years of my life has been one in which I was bent on making deliberate attempts to ensure I develop myself in areas I had passion about. I had lost key relationships and was determined to ensure I get professionally trained as a counselor to ensure that as many as possible don’t end up as failures on the road I have ventured in. I was passionate about raising emotionally-whole & spiritually-matured children who will grow up to have role-model marriages and families. And so I found myself eventually at ADI in an attempt to help build that foundation.The children had been given an assignment the previous week to memorize Psalm 91. I called one of the boys to recite the chapter and he did a great job. I explained to the class that the initial author of the chapter did not intend that his words will eventually be a religious activity that will be chanted over and over again in times of need. I explained to the kids that the chapter was David’s attempt to pour out his heart to a God he considered a friend and Father. I explained to them that that kind of relationship was the ultimate goal we needed to reach with our Heavenly Father. And that was the origin of the class assignment they were about embarking on.I told them it was important to talk to God as they would a friend. I told them they didn’t have to say words they heard their friends or family members say while praying religiously. I encouraged them that although David ended the Psalms at 150, the time had come for them to be the author of Psalm 151. And Psalm 151 they eventually wrote.I was moved to tears reading what some of the 9 year olds wrote in their letter to God. I don’t think I will be quick to forget that very day. I think it began a paradigm shift in me regarding how I teach children the ways of a God I’ve not seen. Below are 2 paragraphs from 2 of the 30 children that wrote their letters====================
God, I didn’t like when you took my dad away from earth. Ever since then it was like I was on earth for nothing but crying and God pls send me a gift. Pls don’t be angry at me.
Your Son ******God can you please bring my brother and grandpa back or can I see them in Heaven. Please can you help a boy in my class called Samuel. Tell the devil to leave him alone. I wish I will not lie again or be angry for no reason. Thank you for listening to me.
From ******
====================I was shocked. I realized that many parents and teachers have little clue as to what goes on in the mind of the average child today. I’m still praying for wisdom and guidance regarding how to help teach them in a way that Jesus would be proud of. I realized that my methods as a parent or teacher may require revisiting. I realize that except God help us, ……. I don’t even know what to write again.One thing I know is this, as parents and teachers there is need to be deliberate regarding how we are raising our children in this age. I also know that it isn’t a bad idea to take our children (and our adult selves also) for therapy once or twice a year.Although I’m not sure if anything will come out of it, I think it isn’t a bad idea for anyone reading this to write out your personal Psalm 151. No, you don’t need to share it on your whatsapp or social media status. Consider writing it in a paper and storing it. I sense somewhere in my heart, we will get a reply that will touch our hearts.#Selah