“Samara ate a blue crayon.”
That is the text my husband received yesterday just before lunch time. I had been coloring with my daughter, walked out of the room for just a moment, came back and found the bite mark in the crayon. Of course, I checked her mouth and thought I had gotten all of the pieces from her mouth and the ground around her and threw them away. A couple minutes later, my daughter was playing a game similar to chase and I noticed that she was making noises without opening her mouth–never a good sign. I called her over and when I tried to get her to open her mouth, she was drooling blue. Bright Cookie Monster blue. It was even embedded in her teeth so that not even her toothbrush could get all of it out (though it did proceed to make the bristles of her toothbrush very blue).
I am thankful that Crayola crayons are non-toxic (hence why a 20 month is allowed to play with them to begin with), but the entire episode was thought provoking. There isn’t a whole lot that happens in my day to day that can be classified as “deep” so bear with me as I use this as my starting example.
I have been researching ideas and themes that could be used for our girl’s retreat for this next spring (if you have no idea what I’m talking about, look at TheCity Ladies page on here. There is even a link if you want more info.) Yes, it is for next spring and yes, I am very aware that it is only July. However, the way that I process details and with the anticipation of having my second baby in a couple months, early is a good thing. ANYWAY, one of the ideas was on sanctity and the idea that “all things are permissible but not all things are beneficial.” (They used examples like watching ‘R’ rated movies, or drinking, etc.)
It’s pretty obvious that eating a crayon is not the end of the world. The “non-toxic” status secures that for me. But if my daughter ate it because she was hungry (which wasn’t the case, but bear with me), it really isn’t going to meet that need. Sure, she can eat it, but she doesn’t gain anything from eating it.
Later in the evening, we went to my daughter’s first swim class. Living in Florida, our house across the street from a pond, our closest friends have a pool, my parents have a pool…yeah, it’s necessary at this age for swim lessons. In other places (let’s think of the middle of the Sahara for example), getting swim lessons for a 20 month old really is not that beneficial. It could wait. But in Florida where nearly every street is lined with either a canal, a lake, or another body of water, it is extremely beneficial to start this process from a very young age.
We tend to live our lives with the idea that my decisions only affect me. I can do what I want simply because I want to. I have never seen an example where that is the case. Our lives intersect other people’s and we can’t help but influence those around us. It’s up to us to decide if it will be a good influence or a bad one.
There are certain things that I know scripture tells me are wrong and those aren’t open for discussion for me. I want to live a life that reflects Biblical standards and shows the world that I am a follower of Jesus. There are other decisions (like the movies I watch, whether or not I have a drink on occasion, the clothes that I wear) where the Bible gives us guidelines (speaking against drunkenness, or a directive for modesty and not causing others to sin), but does not give a specific “yes” or “no.” That is where this comes into play. As I live my life, even if it is permissible, is it beneficial?
So maybe there was a little wisdom and Godly truth that could be found in the crayon fiasco after all…(I said maybe).