I cannot imagine a house without “bad guys,” those animals, monsters, or people against whom my older boys defend us at any given moment. They perpetually create some adversary in their imaginations and BAM! away they go, fighting to protect their sister and me. The normalcy of this type of play manifested itself two days ago when my not-yet-two-year-old daughter picked up a Lincoln Log, shook it at the floor, and made shooting sounds. She then looked at me with her toothy smile and said, “bad guy!” Oh my.
My second son was sharing his protective plans with me when his older brother said, “We are all bad guys,” and then proceeded to name each of us. “All of our hearts are bad,” he continued, “and we all need them fixed.” I smiled as my telling of Solzhenitsyn’s lesson of the line between good and evil running through every human heart re-surfaced. We are all bad – we all have a sin problem – and we all need a savior. There are no good guys, just saved ones.
Thankfully this younger brother is beginning to understand. He prayed before dinner, “Heavenly Father, thank you for every person in my family. Would you be with us, and would you also be with enemies that I do not like but get to love? Amen.” We are one step closer to loving our enemies and praying for those who persecute us.