How to explain disasters to children

In the eye of the storm is calm; in the aftermath, there is often pain and loss. It is a time of assessing the damage and often it’s devastating.

There’s been a lot to assess lately. My family in Orange, Texas, has taken some hits in the last couple of years. Harvey spared most of them, but 2016 was a booger. Six of their homes were completely destroyed by floodwaters.

When I look at all of the perilous situations and the aftermath, measuring the damage through the eyes of a little boy and a mama gives me a very precious perspective. I thought sharing their conversation might be something to be appreciated.

Krista, one of my relatives who lost their home in the flooding in 2016 and her little boy had the following talk.

Their conversation

Ryder: “Momma, I’m just really angry at God that He’s flooding the earth again (eyes big, hands open). I mean, He promised He would not do this again. You know that.”

Krista: Bub, He did promise that and He has kept His promise. Even though our town is flooding, the world isn’t. Sometimes, the devil can take things as little as rain and try to destroy us. God is the one who allows us to have rain and water for our good and we thank him for that. He takes the bad and wants us to let Him work it together for our good because he loves us more than anything else. It’s flooding from lots of rainfall and because there are people in this world who choose greed before they think about the consequences of others that will be affected by it.

Ryder: silent. Chewing on his nails like usual.

Momma, I want to tell God I’m sorry for getting mad. I am glad I can have water to drink and I do love rain.

(Gets on his knees, this is all him, puts his elbows on the coffee table and bows his head.)

This was his prayer “God I’m sorry I got mad at you, I hope you can forgive me, thank you for water and flooding. I don’t think your bad. Help all people. Thank you for dying for me. And I just love you. A lot. In Jesus name amen.”

That is my Roo. He is 6. He prays independently on his knees. He is taught to pray with an open heart at his school, every single day. It has lead to praying at home.

In any situation, it has lead to humility, grace and love. What a courageous heart. When I stress about things this is the soul I go to just to pray with or let him pray. A child’s prayer and outlook on things, makes me feel a whole lot closer to the cross than anything else. Oh my roo . . . How I’ve thanked and prayed for you. I love your heart my baby.

That’ll preach.

Kandi Farris, a freelance correspondent, also is a speaker on matters of faith and values.