Thursday, June 29, 2017

Sunshine: Theology as seen by a four year-old

Sunshine:  Theology 101 according to a four year-old.

After I pick up Sunshine from Gateway Christian Preschool, we always have lunch together.

Having lunch with Sunshine is always an interesting event, even if it involves copious amounts of pbj, milk, and applesauce.  All it takes is a simple question, and her vast wealth of knowledge and opinions come flooding out like gold coins from Scrooge McDuck’s vault.

All I have to ask, “What did you learn at school today?”

Just before Easter, Sunshine’s eyes brightened at that question, and without missing a bite of pbj, or a drop of the jam from the oozy edges, Sunshine told me.  “I learned all about Jesus.  And, Grandma, did you know…”  

She paused for a swig of 2% milk, and to allow me to mop off her face.  “Did you know that Jesus gotted nailed to a cross?  That’s a thing that has two pieces of wood that make a small ‘t’.  The bad Romans (Where did she hear about them, I wondered.) took big nails, Grandma, really big nails.”  She spread her hands about a foot apart.  “And then they hammered them through Jesus’ hands, really hard.  Right through Jesus’ hands.”

Her wide blue eyes made contact with my green eyes, to make sure I understood what she said.  Oh, I understood.  I could feel His bones breaking, and the blood dripping onto the wood.  My green eyes became misty with tears.

With casual care, Sunshine licked off the strawberry jam that she had squeezed out from the bread, on purpose.  She likes to do that, and I don’t blame her; so do I.

“Then they stood the cross up like this,” Sunshine demonstrated with her yellow IKEA plastic spoon, “and dropped it in a hole like this.”  She brought down the spoon hard into the bowl of applesauce.  “That woulda really hurted, you know.”

Again her eyes looked deeply into mine, checking for understanding just like any good teacher would.  Oh, I understood how the cross would have hit the ground with a vibrating thud, and how this would have shook Christ’s body with waves of pain.  My eyes blinked at hers several times.

She told me the whole story, event by event, while I remained very still, listening and watching as my almost 5 year old granddaughter explained salvation to me.  “Miss Kenny gived us each a paper cross we color on, and I decided to color my cross like a sunset.”  I looked confused, I suppose, for now she patiently explained her ideas as if I were only 4 years old.  

“You see, Grandma, the red is for the Blood of Jesus, which He gave away so we can see Him in Heaven.  Then the orange is for the sunset when Jesus died.”  Another bite of pbj, and the last swallow of milk.  

“Can I have some more milk, Grandma?”  Without missing a beat while I automatically poured the milk into her pink IKEA cup, Sunshine lowered her voice to a whisper.  “Then I used yellow.  You know why I used yellow?” 

I shook my head, for at this point I didn’t want to or couldn’t talk.  “Well, the yellow is for sunrise, when Jesus got up out of His grave.  That meaned that He wasn’t dead anymore, that He was alive!”  She slammed her hand on the table.  “There!  See!  Jesus is alive!”

With the last bite of pbj, and the last swipe of the spoon around the bowl of applesauce, Sunshine finished up.  “Then I colored around the cross in blue, ‘cause Jesus went up to Heaven, and He’s waiting there for all of us.”  She gazed into my eyes and asked, “Grandma, why are you crying?  This is good news, not bad.  Jesus is alive!”

I pulled her into my lap and wrapped my arms around her.  Sunshine wiped her gooey face into my tee-shirt, and filled me with her warmth.  Yes, He’s alive, Sunshine.

Susan Kane
April 27, 2011

This is a re-post from six years ago.  I had forgotten about until I checked comments in Hold for Moderation section.  Sunshine is now eleven, my height, with the amazing blue eyes.  And she still knows what Jesus did for us.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Measure of a Great Summer

Summer is just starting.  Soon fireworks will burst in the sky and "ahhhh...ooohhh" will drift upwards.

Summer is measured in so many ways.  Not by time or clocks or calendars, but by all things intangible is summer measured. 

Summer is measured by:

* amount of fireflies caught and held in a quart jar. 

Summer....Watching fireflies/lightning bugs...I have only ever seen them once. It was amazing.:
young boy eating corn on the cob

* first good ear of sweet corn covered with butter.

* wrinkled fingers of my grandchildren after swimming all day.

* by splashes in the pool by children of all ages.

*  number of the SPF in the sunblock lotion.

* by how high the A/C is set.

* by lack of football games on TV.

* by sales of summer clothes at JCPenney.

Can you add to the list?  I wonder how many measurements our blogging community can add?

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Monty Python Explains It All

blue Monty Python wallpaper background
Silly Walks

Starting life on a farm, I enjoyed the years of living just outside my hometown of 427 people.  Most of the residents, their ancestors, and their descendants had lived in this area since 1820s. 

When my own small family moved to Ireland in 1985, our adventures took us through small villages with their own populations, much like those of my hometown, only theirs dated back to 15th century, or further.

These villages and my own hometown had many similarities, including a church, store, farmers market, and pub (no pub at my old town). 

Another striking similarity was the presence of locals who were referred to as the “village idiots”.  My parents explained this was not an insult, but was the only way to describe this part of the populations.

But, after watching this episode of “Monty Python”, I learned how this came to be.

From YouTube, where Monty Python jewels reside

This relieves my mind, as I couldn't force myself to see people that way.  My parents probably were not aware of this hidden training program.

P. S.  I love Monty Python episodes, their unique sense of humor, and satire on the English society.  I found this video, and decided to write around it.  Hope no one is offended--that is certainly not my desire or intention.

This is a re-post, dated Oct. 23, 2015.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Shrines of Time

European countries with such centuries of history have, by sheer time, amassed incredible buildings, structures, monuments, and fountains that shout to the visitor:  “I have been here longer than you can imagine!"

A first time visitor to Switzerland suffers from camera overload:  so many photo opportunities, that it is overwhelming to pick and choose. 

As a returning tourist, I visited Switzerland by myself in July 2012 to see a newborn grandson.  My photos naturally focused on him and his parents.  Each day, I rode a bus through the city of Bern and viewed the city and surrounding areas differently every time.

 I labeled this post "Shrines of Time".  

These are stone watering troughs from old farmlands, gathered together  for artistic appreciation.

An old English telephone booth without its glass, in which a plant had grown

A trail marker along the Aure River

A tree along the Aure River, and it is hanging on with its roots until the next snow-melt flood

 Sometimes the smaller Shrines of Time speak the loudest.

This is a Re-Post of April 23, 2013.  We will be returning to Switzerland in three weeks to see a new grandson and visit with our McKinley family!