Tonight's installment is again by my god friend, Ken Ellis. Keep me in your prayers as my mission in Vietnam enters its fourth day!
I know exactly what your first thought was when you saw the title of this article. "Ah ha," you said, "a big, fat, glaring spelling error that no one should make." You're correct in that the word "devil" is misspelled. But trust me, it was intentional, and here's why. One day while we were transporting the grand kids to and fro, Kate, who was four years old at the time, blurted out from the back seat, "The debil drives a dirty car." Her pronunciation hadn't quite caught up with her thinking as is typical for a child of that age. I don't know why she said this, but when we arrived home that day I was hoping that she didn't notice the exterior of our car as she exited or she likely would have confused me with the enemy.
Yes, kids say the funniest things, but have you ever noticed how insightful they sometimes are on things of a spiritual nature? Even at an early age kids begin forming a concept of God and Satan, good and evil, and right and wrong. I guess it shouldn't surprise me then that Kate associated "dirty" with some aspect of the devil that she had been taught at home or in Bible class. Bottom line, isn't that what Satan is and represents, i.e., something dirty, something filthy, something unclean, which is directly the opposite of a pure and holy God.
Is it any wonder that Jesus had a special place in his heart for children? The writer, Mark, captures these words of Jesus in the tenth chapter: "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.”
For those of you who may remember Pat Boone, the singer, he once said, "We have to insulate our kids, not isolate them." In today's society, our children are going to be exposed to the dirty side of life and humanity long before we were exposed to it. How they respond to the filth and evil of this world is a responsibility borne by parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and basically all of us.
But back to the dirty car business. Sometimes the exterior of a car gives insight into the condition of its interior. You think, dirty on the outside, probably dirty on the inside. Is it any different with the lives that we live? But what about the reverse? It's possible that we can appear to be clean on the outside, but dirty on the inside. Jesus condemned the Pharisees saying they were "beautiful on the outside but on the inside they were full of dead men's bones and everything unclean." Filth, evil, wrongdoing can sometimes be hidden, at least for a while, but it eventually permeates the entire being until it becomes apparent what the true intent of the heart is and what type of people we are.
And now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go wash our car. Kate's coming over later today.
E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org