Recently my daughter, Haven, who is 9, has been asking me questions about my childhood and my life in general. She wrote the questions down in a little notebook and handed it to me one day quipping, "These are questions I want you to answer so I can read them after you are dead" which was delivered with a completely straight face. So, here are her questions (all of them completely unedited) and my answers (with some additions for the blog). It was interesting how she would give me several softball questions and then zip a fastball in there every now and then. Some of her questions were quite sobering.
Q. What did you do for your birthday?
A. Usually I had my friends over for games, cake and ice cream and presents. Sound familiar?
Q. Did Grandma spoil you?
A. She made me pay for my college tuition, so maybe not as much as some people would have you believe.
[That is a reference to my wife who believes me to be a spoiled eldest child. Did my mom buy me many things that I asked for and probably didn't need? Sure. But am I spoiled? Most certainly not...]
Q. Did Grandpa and Grandma read you stories?
Yes, my mom read classics [Dickens, London, Stevenson, etc] to me at lunch time during the school year. I went to school 4 blocks from my house, so every day I would walk home at lunch and she would read stories to me while I ate tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.
[This is one of my fondest childhood memories.]
Q. What did you do in college?
A. I crammed for exams and I spent a lot of time "socializing". I didn't use my time in college wisely.
Q. When did you become a Christian?
A. I think I was 7, but I am not 100% sure. What is important is that I know I am a Christian today.
[When I was 7, Josh McDowell preached at our little Baptist church in Mundelein, IL on a Sunday evening. He must have preached about Hell because when we got home from the service my mom found me crying in her bedroom. She asked me what was wrong and I sobbed out "I don't want to go to Hell!" She sat me down on her bed, reached under it and pulled out a box. In that box was the tract "The Four Spiritual Laws" and she read them to me. She asked me if I wanted to put my trust in Jesus and I said "yes". Then she led me in a prayer asking Jesus to forgive my sins and be my Savior. That was September 19, 1969 I believe. You can read more about my testimony here.]
Q. Did Aunt Suzanne wear dresses?
A. She did when she was a little girl. As she got older she quit wearing them.
Q. Did you get bullied?
A. Yes, and like everyone who gets bullied, I bullied others.
[This is one of the almost unbearably sad realities of our fallen world. The abused turn into abusers. How we need a Savior...]
Q. Was Uncle Boyd annoying?
A. Yes, and so was your dad. Everyone is annoying. It's important to remember that Jesus came to save annoying people, like you and me.
Q. Did you share a room?
A. I shared a room with Uncle Boyd until we were older and then we had separate finished rooms in the basement.
Q. When did you go to Africa?
A. In August, 1973 when I was 11 years old, the same as age as your brother Emmett.
[My parents were missionaries in Liberia from 1973 to 1980. I'll probably write about that someday]
Q. Did you have any girlfriends before mom?
A. I did and I need to set up a date with you so I can tell you about that...sweetie
(to be continued ...)