"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:14-16
Silas' eyes gleamed over his yogurt.
"I'm so glad my classmates get to hear about God."
He was looking at his cahier de vie (life notebook) sitting on the breakfast table. The story started about a week earlier. We were celebrating St. Martin's day with Silas' class, each child carried a hand made lantern on the end of a stick. A candle flickered inside the thin colorful paper. They sang traditional songs in both German and French. "Daddy," Silas said. "I don't think many of the kids at school know about God. I would like to tell them about God in my cahier de vie."
Every Monday morning the students bring in their notebooks and share something about their weekend or life in general. They draw pictures or paste photos and write their thoughts. We translate what Silas says into French so his teacher can share it with his class. Silas was very serious as he worked on his project, drawing a cross under a blue sky. This is what he said,
"I would like to tell you about the Lord God, Jesus Christ. You can read about him in the Bible. I would like to tell you a verse from the Bible. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life - John 3:16. Jesus is the most important thing. If you believe in him and ask him into your heart you will be saved from your sins. Sin means doing wrong."
Sincere care for his classmates and the hope of sharing his faith put an enormous smile on Silas' during breakfast. Later that day, Silas came running up the stairs, his eyes were wet and his voice cracked as he spoke.
"Daddy, we have some bad news. The French government doesn't let people talk about God in school."
It was as I'd feared. Silas' teacher couldn't share his notebook with the class. The director of his school explained to me today that even though that is in Silas' heart, at school we have to leave religion at the door. Secularity is an untouchable pillar of the school system. The spiritual oppression we know all too well in France squeezed me. I wanted to ask him how he thinks it feels to tear your heart out every morning, to be asked to lay aside an integral part of who you are.
Silas cried when his teacher told him she couldn't read his cahier de vie. Maybe he felt left out, but mostly it was because he wanted so badly his classmates to hear about God. I don't remember the last time I shed tears for those who don't know the Lord. Jesus cried out over Jerusalem, "how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing." How heavy the weight of eternity can be. Let's make a difference in someone's life!