As our children grow up, I’m experiencing they offer less and less of a response to a frequently asked question: “how was your day at school?” I heard some time ago, an alternative way to engage our children after they’ve come home from school or an activity we are curious about is to ask them: “Did you ask any questions today?”
My nephew, who is 11, sent me an email this week. In fact, it was the first time I’d ever received an email from him! It was a picture of him asking a question of someone you may recognize.
Rep. John Lewis was visiting his school this week. My nephew had the courage to ask Rep. Lewis a question after Lewis had given a talk. I had to write my nephew back to find out what he asked.
His response: “I asked him (since he said his mom and dad said ‘don’t get into any trouble’) were his parents mad when he got into trouble even though he knew he was doing what was right?”
I wrote my nephew back: “Henry, That is a great question! I would love to hear how he responded. Rep. John Lewis has a phrase he likes to use, and maybe he mentioned it which prompted your great question. He says it is important we get into "Good Trouble." He defines ‘good trouble’ as actions we take which support the most vulnerable in our world, as sometimes those actions can get us into "trouble". Our parents don't want us to get into "trouble", but every now and then, it is okay to get into "good trouble."
(A great interview with Rep. Lewis can be found in the archives of: www.OnBeing.org)
As our children grow--as they grow in faith--may they be curious and ask lots of good questions; and may we consider how they might get into “good trouble” in the tradition of Rep. John Lewis, and all those who work for human dignity, as a testimony to their faith in God--the one who creates us all in the Imagio Dei.