Tested by a Granddaughter

February 8, 2023

“One Sabbath, Jesus was strolling with his disciples through a field of ripe grain. Hungry, the
disciples were pulling off the heads of grain and munching on them. Some Pharisees reported
them to Jesus: “Your disciples are breaking the Sabbath rules!” ~ Matthew 12:1-2 The Message

The other evening, during our daily WhatsApp video chat, my youngest granddaughter, six-year-
old Marie-Hélène gave me a test. First, she showed me two stickers, one a dog and the other a
cat. “Nana, which do you pick, the dog or the cat?” I replied, “The dog.” She declared,
“Correct.” Second, she showed me a plastic egg with a pink top and a blue bottom. “Nana which
do you pick, the pink of the blue?” “The pink,” I replied. “She declared, “Correct.”

Then came the shocker. “Nana,” she said, “Which do you pick, Grandpa and Kiko or your
grandchildren?” I froze. Not even Solomon’s wisdom could get me the right answer. (See 1
Kings 3:16-28). I simply could not pick one choice over the other. “I can’t make that choice.”
She said, “Both – you are correct.” That totally cracked me up. Her dad overheard the
conversation and said, “Marie-Hélène, where did you come up with that?” Where indeed?

I was still chuckling when I went to bed. And also pondering the profound truth that some
choices don’t have a correct or incorrect answer, but a both and. I’m not sure she was thinking
about the theological import of her words. Jesus had a lot to say about living into the principle
that lies behind the law. For example, righteousness is defined as right relationship with God and
with others. In the passage above, some of the strictly religious people criticized Jesus about his
disciples working on the Sabbath (picking heads of grain to eat). Jesus responded with Hosea
6:6, “I prefer a flexible heart to an inflexible ritual” ~ The Message

Marie-Hélène was speaking deep truth, grace instead of rigidity, not dualistic but non dualistic
thinking. God is bigger than I think.

Thanks be to God. ~ Anne

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