One of my three-year olds called Mary her real mum.
One afternoon, I was making dinner, standing at the counter with my back to our three youngest children. Katie and Anthony were lounging around the kitchen table, with three-year-old Lucy perched like a little elf on a high stool, happily swinging her legs.
Simply making conversation, Katie who was about eight, asked Lucy,
“Lucy, who’s your favorite, mum or dad?”
I looked over my shoulder and intruded on their conversation,
“Smart answer, Lucy.”
Lucy was not done, though,
“But she’s not my real mum, Mary is.”
Katie rolled her eyes, slapped her forehead with the palm of her hand and said incredulously,
“Where does she get this stuff?”
I tried to explain,
“Well, the Holy Spirit is in her heart and she listens to His voice.”
Lucy jumped right back into the discussion and chanted in a sing-song, lilting voice,
“That’s right. God the Father in my heart. Baby Jesus in my heart. Holy Spirit in my heart. Mother Mary in my heart…. but…. I still like mum and dad the best!”
This is an example of a child’s own, unique spirituality. My three-year old learned right from the heart of her heavenly Father because He lives in her heart and she listened to his voice. Her spirituality is different than an adult’s because Jesus knows exactly how to relate to children, how to teach them.