Bedtime Reading – The Attack of the Horrible Dinosaur
During bedtime stories this evening my son, aged 3 asked me to read him the story of Lazarus. My mother-in-law recently broke her leg walking up from the beach and is in a cast up to her knee. My son was there when it happened and now has a delighted curiosity for all things medical and gory. No wonder then that the illustration in his book of Lazarus lying in bed looking decidedly peaky caught the eye.
So we read the story. When we finished there was a quiet moment before a young enquiring mind broke the silence. The conversation ran something like this:
“Daddy, is Lazarus buried with Mummy’s grandad?”
“I don’t expect so” I reply, fighting to hide a smirk and thereby preserve his enthusiasm for chatting more.
“Shall I go and ask her?”
“How about we ask her in the morning son?” Further pause for reflection.
“Daddy, what made Lazarus poorly?”
I should have seen it coming but I didn’t. I should have anticipated the wonderful ruminations of the mind of a toddler and expected an absolute gem was about to come my way. But I didn’t see the signs and as a result it took me by complete surprise…
“Daddy, Lazarus lives with Mary. I think he was sick on the roof… Like when I was sick in the kitchen… It was brown… I think he drank something horrible… Something really horrible… Like a dinosaur.”
Another pause for thought and then a big grin. “It’s possible you know Daddy”
Ok so you could describe his exegesis of the passage as outright flakey. Had Lazarus in fact vomited brown sick all over the roof of Mary’s house as a direct result of drinking something horrible (perhaps even a dinosaur!) then I think it would have warranted a mention in the text. That said my heartfelt prayer is that the Bible continues to fire his curiosity and capture his imagination for the rest of his life.
As my boy explores the world and finds his path in life he will hopefully have a spectacular tool to help him. The Bible will lay a foundation of right and wrong and a blue print for living life to the full. The Bible will offer him a loving relationship with the creator of the universe. The Bible will invite him to live a life of purpose enjoying God, the Church and a Spirit filled life. The Bible will enable him to begin to understand hardship and even death in a new light. It will completely mould his world view. The Bible will transform and renew his mind to explore the good, pleasing and prefect will of God for his life (Romans 12:2).
That’s quite some bedtime reading!
David Atkinson 20/09/2011
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