23 April 2014

two children and Our Story

I'm a little nervous about sharing this first story. I don't want to shame anyone, but perhaps to criticize the way Facebook chooses what stories to prioritize for us...

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licensed photo by williac
On Sunday one of my Facebook friends posted a montage of four photographs with an Easter greeting written across the whole. Two pictures were family groupings, one showed their Easter eggs, and one showed the oldest son reading. Alas, what Facebook showed his grandmother was his mother's teasing comments about the boy's father "boozing" it up, beside a photograph of the Bloody Mary the man had ordered with his Easter brunch.

But, I said, did you see the photograph of N? 

--I saw the picture of him posing with his uncle and the Easter Bunny after brunch ...

No. The picture of him reading, in his father's Easter montage. The reflective finish on the top edges of the pages, the black leather binding, the two-column layout, and the glimpse of a marker ribbon all signal - this is a Bible. Even just a second glance reveals that he is reading the end of a book within this Bible. The resolution of the picture won't permit me to see which the following book's title is, but I can see that he's about three-quarters of the way through the Bible. As if I hadn't already surmised that he was reading the Resurrection narrative from one of the Gospels!

It's a story important to his father, important to his grandmother, important to the holiday. And the boy read it out to his family before brunch.

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Our godson's little sister knows that I am pleased to see children enjoying spiritual things, so when we dropped by their house on Easter Day to deliver an Easter basket (really a small gift bag) to her big brother, she ran and met me at the door with the Jesus Storybook Bible.

She opened it to show me the page with Jesus carrying the cross.

from The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones & Jago

I said, That looks like a Good Friday picture! What's today? And she excitedly flipped forward a few pages until she found the first page of the Resurrection story, with a picture of three women carrying jars and cloths towards tomb, which we see in the distance with the stone already rolled away. 

I don't really know whether she showed me these pictures because they are important to her, or because she knows they are important to me. In one sense it doesn't matter, because I think for her what "church" is - is interaction with the family of God. In showing me the book she was maintaining our relationship as much as she was affirming our shared faith. Maybe for her the two are inseparable: the relationships within the body of Christ and the relationship of all those parts with the head. 

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