How will I speak to this child who cannot comprehend life as I comprehend? What stories must I tell to reach this young inquirer? How can I lay a buffet their young mind will discern?
I have yet to meet many who think explaining to a small child the complex morality of an adult world will do more than confuse (at best), or disturb (at worst). I am learning again to see through a child’s eyes the new and complex “societal choices” we adults make without thought, and expect a young child to begin doing. I am learning again that sharing my knowledge (through my eyes) hinders. And I am learning (again) that young children are very manipulative!
And then there is the language of the bible.
A document of the “Chosen Family”. Written as one would write for a child learning the “family stuff” of being one of the family. How would one write such a document … what words would one put in the mouth of the adult narrator … ?
“Just as it was in the days of Noah, so too it will be in the days of the Son of Man. They were eating and drinking, and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed all of them.
The fact of drowning all life – or a child’s eyes?
Likewise, just as it was in the days of Lot: they were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building, but on the day that Lot left Sodom, it rained fire and sulphur from heaven and destroyed all of them —it will be like that on the day that the Son of Man is revealed.
The fact of extermination – or a child’s story?
On that day, anyone on the housetop who has belongings in the house must not come down to take them away; and likewise anyone in the field must not turn back. Remember Lot’s wife. Those who try to make their life secure will lose it, but those who lose their life will keep it.
I tell you, on that night there will be two in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. There will be two women grinding meal together; one will be taken and the other left.”
Then they asked him, ‘”Where, Lord?” He said to them, “Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather.”
Is that a bogeyman I see?
I think the bible is such a part of everyday life that we forget it was a set of words written for a certain set of people. And like corporate, institutional, cultural, or organisational literature – there is an “on message” throughout. An “on message” to teach the family what the family is all about. So I no longer see value is debating “why God flooded the earth and killed all but one boatload” – or whether “God rained down a volcano on Sodom and turned Lot’s wife into salt”. I used to. But something changed. I have children.
We are family.
We have ways of doing things your family doesn’t. And that doesn’t matter – you are a family like us – only we do things differently. So we will raise our children the same – but not the same – and we ALL speak with the eyes of a “child-adult” as we do.
And then there is the noise of being right …
“there is no bogeyman” v “yes there is, Daddy said there is” … “there is no big brother watching you” v “he is not big brother he loves me” … “if he really loved you – even though he deffo isn’t real – why all the bad things – you misguided and belligerent idiot” v “if I could call you an asshole I would – but family rules say I can’t – so I won’t – but you are – and I know you are – and you know you are”
I hear that when young children (from different, or the same, families) are squabbling together.
“Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Should not be taken literally (either).
Have a great day – it’s Friday!
(whatever that means)!