Recently, my pastoral apprentice and I have switched roles on the weekend. She is now running the elementary end of things and I am running the early childhood end. This means that I am the large group teacher for the junior and senior Kindergarten class (in Ontario, there is junior Kindergarten for four year olds and Senior Kindergarten for five year olds).
Anyway, yesterday we looked at the story of Jonah learning how we should do what is right. While we were watching the story, one of the children piped up on the part where God sent a big fish to swallow Jonah, “That wasn’t really nice of God to make a fish swallow Jonah!”
I couldn’t help but stifle a laugh and smile. While I did not answer the child then because I was so tickled, what I wish I had said was, “You are right that probably wasn’t the nicest thing for God to do. Is God supposed to always be nice?… God may not always be nice, but he does always promise to be with us just like he stayed with Jonah even thought Jonah disobeyed him.” Then who knows where the conversation would’ve gone from there… maybe about how he saw a firetruck the other day. I love four and five year old minds!
It was another reminder that we don’t always have to whitewash everything and correct children. It’s OK for them to wonder and ask questions about God that don’t make sense to them. I think we lose that wonderful gift as we get older.
What are some fun questions or stories or bits of wisdom you’ve learned from the children in your life lately?