February 13, 2006

Did This Happen "Real?"

A question Charis and Tobin have been asking a lot lately is, "Did this happen real?" They mean, is it just a story or a movie, or did it really happen? As we read stories for school time, we always have to establish our frame of reference. This is a fairy tale--it didn't really happen. Or, this is from the Bible--it really DID happen! And then there are some in-between things that I have a hard time answering. Did Johnny Appleseed exist the way he is depicted in A Treasury of Children's Literature? Did George Washington really chop down that cherry tree?! Good heavens! Even Mommy doesn't know if that "happened real!"

It's been interesting to see them thinking about things in light of fact vs. fiction, truth and reality vs. fantasy and fairy tale. Even more interesting is how they carry these questions over from school time to life in general. Tobin asked if the football games of late happened real. Charis wants to know if the Olympics happened real. It's difficult to explain when you think about it--yes, these are real people, doing real things, in a real place, but it just happens to be shown on TV, which is where the kids usually see things that AREN'T real, i.e. Veggie Tales and other children's movies.

I guess as they grow older they will establish their own internal frame of reference. I just pray that they will be discerning when it comes to serious issues of truth, when they are challenged by those who don't believe the stories in the Bible "happened real." I pray they will grow strong in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ, so that in the future they will be able to answer the questions that THEY receive.

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