As Nannygranne stirred the bubbling stew for dinner, her husband and sons, watching the news, fervently discussed among themselves the state of the country.1 The aproned eight-year-old girl beside her, little to the adults’ awareness, clearly heard the caution and concern in the voices of the men gathered around the television.
“Is God mad at America, Nannygranne,” she asked.
Nannygranne glanced down into her face and immediately realized her question came from the intensity of this conversation and others. Between the lackluster approach to American History in school, voices decrying America’s founding values, and the constant complaints of conservatives that America is falling from grace, children hear nothing but bad news about our country. Is it any wonder our young feel like rats on a sinking ship.2
“Is that a scary thing to you?” Nannygranne responded as she reached for the soup bowls in the cabinet.
“Uncle Brett said that some people think America’s hurting people. Then Grandpa said that America’s not a Christian anymore!” Obviously, the conversation was unsettling for Janie. But they were part of our family’s fabric, so she needed help processing its weight.
“I need you to help me at the table, so come sit with me.” Nannygranne turned the heat low on the stew, took the cornbread out of the oven, then grabbed cheese, pickles, and carrots from the refrigerator. Pouring a glass of water for herself and Janie, she invited her to sit with her as she sliced cheese and dill pickles for the relish plate. “Here, Janie. Could you put some baby carrots on this plate, too?”
“Okay,” she responded.
“You know, hearing all the bad news makes me sad, too. You are right that grownups are talking about those things and worry. And God doesn’t like it when countries forget about Him or hurt other people. When America started, the people used the Bible to make the laws and wanted everyone to follow God’s way. But people quit reading what they said and have forgotten about God.4 I wish those people wouldn’t like talking about bad things so much.”
Stopping mid-motion, Janie whispered, “What people, Nannygranne?”
“The news people. They get more money for talking about bad things happening than the good things. Too many people like hearing bad things about other people. But do you know what? I like to watch for the helpers and the brave people. And I know that thousands and thousands of people are praying every minute for God to help us. God wants us to be okay and for Christians to help make America remember Him, again.”
Wrinkling her nose, Janie complained, “I wish Grandpa and Daddy and Uncle Brett wouldn’t watch the news!”
“Well, we need to remember that God gave men hearts that want to protect us and keep us safe.3 They watch the news, so they understand things that are happening. It’s sort of like they are the guards for our family. But for now, you get to be a kid and let them worry about all that.”
“Oh! Then that’s why they are watching?”
“Yeah. That’s just part of being grownup. But Grandpa and them don’t worry all the time. There’s something else they know that’s even more important.” Nannygranne, having finished the last pickle, wiped her hands on her apron and smiled.
“What is it?” Janie asked, wiping her hands on her little apron, too.
“We are indeed Americans, but we mainly belong to a different country.”
“We do?” The girl was suddenly curious.
“Christians are citizens of the Kingdom of God, the strongest country there is. And it’s all around us and all over the world! Jesus is even more powerful than any President because He’s our Champion and King. And no matter what happens to America or any country in the world, nobody can mess up God’s Kingdom. Jesus guards and takes care of us.”
“And even Grandpa’s and Daddy’s and Uncle Brett’s, too?” At that, Janie ran to her Daddy, jumped into his lap, threw her arms around his neck, and shouted, “Daddy, you don’t have to worry about God burning American down. Jesus guards us, and we’re his scizzorins!”
Her daddy looked up at Nannygranne, puzzled. Nannygranne just grinned and responded, “Wash your hands, guys. Let’s eat, and then we can talk.”
“My kingdom is not of this world,” said Jesus. “If My kingdom were of this world, My servants would fight so that I wouldn’t be handed over to the Jews. As it is, My kingdom does not have its origin here…I was born for this, and I have come into the world for this: to testify to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to My voice.” from John 18:36-37
1 November 2020 Poll regarding the state of America – https://www.politico.com/news/2021/01/17/poll-we-have-met-the-enemy-and-it-is-us-459948
2 “Only 4 out of 10 respondents ages 18-34 claim to be extremely or very proud of being American.” – source https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/voices/2020/09/23/1619-project-american-history-education-trump-patriotic-column/5864265002/
3 God’s spiritual economy for families Ephesians 5:23; I Peter 3:7; Colossians 3:21; I Tim 5:8; I Cor. 7:1-5
4 The American Heritage Series with David Barton Amazon Prime