Children are amazing. I have three of my own, all grown up, and now I have a granddaughter, definitely the most beautiful and intelligent child on the planet, right?
To a small child, everything is better than it seems. Things are easily forgiven, if not overlooked completely, and the world is pretty far away as long as they have food, shelter, and caring adult attention. Even with a lack of those things, they’re still pretty resilient. But even more remarkable than that is their trusting nature. Even if things aren’t logical, practical, or realistic, if the adult they look up to says it’s okay, then it is.
So I find my oldest daughter’s perception comically enlightening now that she is reading some of the same stories to her daughter that I read to them. Anybody remember Babar, the Elephant and his friends?
“It’s so sweet to be able to introduce G to beloved books from my childhood. Like Babar. Whose mother is SHOT BY A HUNTER IN BOOK. I’d forgotten about that.”
To which one of her sisters replies:
“AHHHHHHH!!! Really?!!! That’s terrible! HOW DOES THAT MOVE THE PLOT FORWARD?!”
“I think that’s how he meets the old woman in the city. G’s attention span hasn’t allowed me to read the whole book yet, so I’m left in suspense. Also, clearly there’s a suitable wild habitat for elephants near a large, vaguely European city. I love children’s books.”
“I just read Babar all the way through. Um, okay. Brief recap: he and a large number of elephants live in a forest in France. With camels and monkeys. Mother gets shot. Hunter chases Babar who runs to a town. Babar sees suits and wants one. Finds rich old lady who gives him her purse and lets him move in. Babar’s cousins show up a couple of years later. They also get fancy duds and then Babar goes back with them. But the elephant king has been poisoned by a mushroom and dies–perfect timing! But also Babar has proposed to his COUSIN Celeste on the way back to the forest. Babar for king–he comes with a queen! Twofer! Better send the camel to town for wedding clothes. Then they fly away in a yellow balloon.
So Babar is a dandy social climber who takes advantage of old rich ladies and marries his cousin.
Who was writing these books?”
Truth be told, I don’t remember that part either. Possibly I read to them a politically correct redacted version, or maybe a later sequel?
Or, in the innocence of childhood, perhaps we all took it in stride and accepted things that were neither logical nor practical. The author said it was so, and that was sufficient.
Interestingly, sometimes the things God tells us are neither “logical nor practical” either, at least to the sophisticated 21st century mind. People rising from the dead, heaven, hell, angels, demons. What’s reality?
“Then he said, “I tell you the truth, unless you turn from your sins and become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven.”
I will choose to let the Author of life continue to write my ongoing story, and leave the final page up to Him.
Matthew 18:3 Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007, 2013 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.