Tuesday, February 27, 2018

From the Mouth of Babes

by Ruth Buchanan

I work with children. As you can imagine, it’s often quite humbling.

Today while I was in the middle of what I considered to be a deep and philosophical lesson, one little girl raised her hand and instead of offering thoughtful, kid-level analysis, looked me dead in the eyes and said, “You have one white hair sticking straight up.”

Since my hair is deep black (well, most of it), that one white hair would have provided quite a contrast even if it weren’t sticking straight up. Which it clearly was. I know how my hair operates—the laws of gravity do not apply.

I sighed and pushed a hand backward through the top of my pixie cut. “There. Did that help?”

“No,” chimed a second child, flat-voiced. “You’re making it worse.”

Isn’t that just how life goes?

We’re bopping along feeling fine, not realizing that we have flaws on full display for all to see. Then, when our flaws are inevitably pointed out, our efforts to fix them sometimes make things worse.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m glad that I have people in my life who will tell me when something goes awry. We all need that. While it’s the Holy Spirit who ultimately applies truth to our hearts in order to bring about change, it’s often our peers who act as messengers, and there’s no point trying to avoid correction. If we resist the process, we’re just proven fools (Prov. 12:1).

So though correction is inevitably embarrassing, let’s thank God when it comes. Without these moments of clarifying humility, we’d all follow our own inner trajectory toward insufferable pompousness.

I know I would.

Together, let’s ask for the grace not only to correct flaws humbly when they’re pointed out but also to thank God sincerely for the peers he’s ordained to help with our sanctification.

Even the tiny peers with flat little voices.

About Ruth Buchanan
Ruth Buchanan is a Christian freelance writer who holds degrees in ministry and theology. She writes fiction, non-fiction, plays, and sacred scripts. She’s an eager reader, an enthusiastic traveler, and the world’s most reluctant runner. Ruth loves Jesus, family, church, friends, and coffee. She lives and works in South Florida. You can follow Ruth on Twitter or Instagram: @Ruthette

Recent releases:
Collapsible: A Novel of Friendship, Broken Bones, Coffee, Shenanigans, and the Occasional Murder

Flexible: A Novel of Mystery, Drama, Rehabilitation, Spiders, and the Occasional Head Wound

Unbreakable: A Novel of Relationships, Getaways, Teep Kicks, Bacon, Nuptials, and the Occasional Stabbing

The Proper Care and Feeding of Singles: How Pastors, Marrieds, and Church Leaders Effectively Support Solo Members

Murder on Birchardville Hill

"I work with children. As you can imagine, it’s often quite humbling." - Author @ruthette shares about handling #correction with #grace and #humility on @emilyrconrad's blog!

Photo credits
Lollipop photo by Ari Sherbill on Unsplash
Child pointing photo by Hal Gatewood on Unsplash


  1. Those comments come from beloved grandchildren as well. "Do wrinkles mean you're old?" "Your teeth are yellow." "Why's your hair so short?" "I see your bra strap."
    Ruth, your books look so good! I'd love to meet you in person.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, LoRee! I'm sure those grandkids are so blessed to have you in their lives... even if they have a funny way of showing it ;)

    2. Thanks, LoRee! I hope we can meet up as well - maybe at a writer's conference?

  2. Gotta love the no-filters of honest children! Lol Thanks for your post, Ruth!

    1. YES! Total honesty in those piping little voices. Too much!

  3. Children keep us humble.Thanks for the reminders, Ruth. Our society is so focused on selfies and "me first," we need to look at life through the lens of Jesus.

    1. For sure - social media makes it too easy to focus on making our lives look put-together and perfect. Kids don't let us forget that we're fallen and flawed!

  4. What a cute blog with an inspirational message too!

  5. As a teacher myself, I know exactly what you're talking about. I discovered that some of my young student's transparent observations made adult mindsets seem absolutely opaque. Thanks so much for your story. Cheers

    1. YES! I taught middle school and high school for 14 years. Those kids demand clarity! (And perfection. LOL.)

  6. LOVE the post!
    Good luck and God's blessings

  7. Haha! Having just had my baptism into teaching children this school year at church Sunday School, I can relate to the truths and hilarious statements that come from the mouths of kids. :) Great to see you on Emily's blog--I believe we're both with the same publisher--WIP/Pix 'n Pens! Thanks for this reminder to accept the chastisement of our peers when it coincides with the Word of God. Hard to do, but an important means God uses to bring about positive change in our lives.

    1. I'm not sure I knew you were teaching Sunday School! Fun! Aren't publishing families a blessing? Ruth and I met because we also both write for Pelican. Thanks so much for reading and joining the conversation!

    2. Jerusha, I knew your name sounded familiar, I just wasn't sure why. You're correct - I have also published with Write Integrity Press! As Emily mentioned, she and I are co-laborers with Pelican as well.