I was flipping bacon when he said it.
"I know what the "f" word is."
Now if I had stopped to think here, I would have realized that there was no need to panic. His six years have never witnessed anything stronger than Veggie Tales. But I stood there, fat dripping off the pig piece, everything suspended by the force of his statement. I opened my mouth, but he answered before my words were formed, "Forget. That's the "f" word."
Several weeks ago I began to dread Bible time with Rowan. We were reading through the Old Testament, reading about the ebb and flow of the Israelites. Every day he'd say, "Maybe today they'll obey God, Mommy." And every day he'd be disappointed that they forgot God's goodness once again.
The day that I read him that they demanded a king was the worst. He exploded, "They already have a king! God is their King!"
I had to explain that they wanted tangible; textile. They wanted to see a big strong man leading them into battle. They wanted their senses satisfied.
I continued reading until a round earnest face was inserted between my eyes and the Bible.
"I will never forget."
My heart swelled and I said, "I will help you remember."
But there was so much more that I couldn't say. He will forget. He will sin and flail and fall. I will help him up, but he will forget again. He will forget, just like me. Forget that he has a King, demand that his senses be satisfied. He will forget God's goodness to him. He will forget, just like me.
But this morning, he showed me what he remembered, that forget, is a bad word. That our vitality as Christians rests on remembering. We celebrate Easter, celebrate Christmas, to remember the sacrifice of our Lord, the goodness of our God.
"I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds. Your ways, O God, are holy. What god is so great as our God?" Psalms 77:11-13
We pray, go to church, read the Bible, to remember.
"Remember this, fix it in mind, take it to heart, you rebels. Remember the former things, those of long ago; I am God, and there is no other; I am God and there is none like me. Isaiah 46:8,9
Rowan will grow up. He will make choices every day for the rest of his life. His six years will stretch long and lithe and his soul will swell to manhood. He may or may not know how to floss properly when he leaves home. He may never master getting the sheets straight before he pulls up the comforter. But if he takes away from this home, the conviction to remember and the terrors of the "f" word, I'll be thankful.
And maybe someday, he will help others remember.