Tuesday, March 03, 2009

The big scary Bible

Little Bird and I like to go to the library. We read in the morning, in the afternoon, and at night before bed. We love books. I quickly learned that books are expensive, and that even though Mama gets bored of the same board books morning, noon, and night, it just isn't in the budget to keep buying books. And why should we when we can just go to the library?

Our trips to the library are short, as Little Bird mainly likes to pull books off of the shelves and place them in the bins around that are for reshelving. He also likes to stand at the little short shelves of board books and pull them out one at a time, examine the front and back of each book, and then hand it to me. I put some back and pull some to check out and take home.

The very first book Little Bird "selected" yesterday was a big sparkly book about Noah's Ark. We haven't started learning Bible stories yet - unless you count him chucking the baby Jesus from his Fisher Price nativity set with me crying out, "Noooooo! Don't throw the Son of God!" so I thought it would be good to start. I'll bet the Reverend Nana agrees.

When we got home, we sat down on the couch to read. I opened up the Noah's Ark book, and began,

"Noah was a good man.
He lived a holy life.
He had three grown-up sons,
And a kind and loving wife."

Okay. That's a nice story. Next page.

"God will send a frightening flood
To cover all the land.
And as the water rises,
There'll be no place left to stand.

I have to wipe the world clean
Because my people are so bad.
But I'll save you and your family,
So Noah, don't be sad."

Holy crap. I know the story. I went to a Presbyterian day school. I know all the stories. It hadn't occurred to me how freaking scary they are until now.

Evil snake in the garden. Cain and Abel. Job and the series of unfortunate events. Daniel getting thrown to the lions. Jonah and the whale. Then of course, the torture and crucifixion of Jesus. They are all freaking nightmare stories.

I believe in a God of grace and mercy. I want for my son to know of the goodness and kindness. He should know of the grace.

I guess that you have to tell the stories like these to get to the grace. I mean, the story of grace in my life involves death, divorces, and miscarriages. It's not a pretty story, it's just a happy ending. But without the first part of the story, there can be no grace.

Tell that to a 13 month old. No thanks. For now, I'm skipping over the story of the flood and just talking about the animals on the big boat. I think I'll leave out drunken Noah too, just for good measure.