Sunday, March 29, 2009
A Child's Perspective
I love being with children, particularly grade school aged children. While they can be mischievous, they are honest and eager to learn. In the many years I have taught Sunday School I have been asked all kinds of questions that required a straight face and a satisfactory answer on my part.
What is a eunuch?? Another older teacher looked on in shock when I explained that one!
What is adultery?? The girl's mother who was divorced for this reason stood quietly outside the door until I answered.
I am greatly in favour of newer translations of the Bible, especially for Old Testament stories. I printed out a colouring sheet for today's story from Joshua 9 and these verses from the King James Version were printed on the bottom. What child would understand this?!
"And when the inhabitants of Gibeon heard what Joshua had done unto Jericho and to Ai, They did work wilily, and went and made as if they had been ambassadors, and took old sacks upon their asses, and wine bottles, old, and rent, and bound up; And old shoes and clouted upon their feet, and old garments upon them; and all the bread of their provision was dry and mouldy."
Or try reading the story of Balaam's ass to a room full of ten year olds using the King James Bible. I did once and they were laughing so hard we were all crying. (read it here) I am not trying to take away from the sacredness of scripture, but the Bible needs to be understood in the language of each generation. High school will be soon enough for them to learn the nuances of Shakespearean English.
In the past quarter we have been talking about Moses and the wanderings of the Israelites in the wilderness. I was trying to get them to understand how long forty years was and asked an eight year old, "How old will you be in forty years?"
"Forty-eight! My parents aren't even that old."
Another little girl looked at me in horror and said, "You would be over 100!"
Well, that answer cracked me up. (In truth I would just be 94...)
Working with geriatric patients makes me feel young, but to these children I am "old";- older than their parents and older than some of their grandparents. With this introduction I hope to explore more insights on aging in a few future posts.