‘Mummy, I’ve got a few questions for you. How many people will be at your bible study? How many tables of books should we have? Do you think there will be more than one hundred and forty three?’ says Rufus, having thought about my suggestion that he, Daddy and Billy come and run a bookstore at our final bible study evening.
Apart from the wildly optimistic ‘143’ (which seems to be the number of the moment), Rufus’ questions show his keen attentiveness to all that the ‘chief of 10ofThose’, as he refers to Jonathan, does. He is watching, helping whenever he can and is quick to jump on any opportunity to be part of Daddy’s bookselling business. At one point, we had a branch of 10ofThose set up in the basement with books laid out, cash register set up and everyone who passed the table being accosted as the next customer. Billy’s bookshelves were full by the end of the week.
I love his earnest enthusiasm. He will often come and tell me that his business – he’s moved on to a rescue service at the moment – is running well, systems are in place and he’s too busy to be able to do what I’m asking right now.
I love that he loves to be part of his Daddy’s world. More than just participating, he’s watching, following and copying. Both boys echo phrases that I say, the words ‘lovely’ and ‘brilliant’ are bandied around frequently. Rufus even leaned conspiratorially over to me the other day and suggested that Billy was having a sugar rush – definitely a phrase native to me rather than him.
But there’s something beautiful about a son copying his father, and wanting to emulate him. I love it all the more because I know Jonathan is seeking to follow Jesus. Those little footsteps behind him, even when caught up in the packing and loading of boxes of books, are getting used to choosing the Jesus way. At the heart of the 10ofThose ministry is a love for others to the extent that we want to get books about Jesus into everyone’s hands. At the heart of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection is a love for others that meant he died in our place to give us a life with God that we don’t deserve.
I pray that our boys would catch glimpses of Jesus in the choices Jonathan makes and the paths he chooses. I pray that as we both fix our eyes on our loving, others-serving Saviour that our boys would love to watch and follow, swept up by and copying the one who died so that they could live.