Reflections in Lent: From the Mouths of Babes

Since I missed last weeks Lenten Lunch speaker due to copious amount of time spent in doctors offices I thought I would instead share with you some thoughts I have on teaching about Lent to the littles.

Kid’s say the darndest things. Actually kids, up until they realize they aren’t supposed to and some even beyond that, will tell you exactly what they think, what other people have said, and why everything is funny. I’ve always believed that this is truly a gift. It is a unique period in life before they realize that the world judges us rather harshly for our independent thoughts and independent spirits so they are who they are and they think what they think and they don’t know to care about why that may be wrong or right. It is beautiful. I wish more adults would adopt this attitude, at least part of the time. There would be a lot less confusion and second guessing.

A few weeks ago I was talking to a sweet little girl about the lesson of the day as well as the current church season which so happens to be Lent. This was a new sort of concept for her. We often talk about church season, and everyone knows about Easter and Christmas, but since there is not a fun holiday associated with Lent it is much less important to young minds and some old ones. I explained what Lent was, how long it lasts, and that it was a time of reflection before we celebrate Easter. Well, reflection is a five dollar word when you are young. The best analogy I have come up with, in case you ever try explaining it to a wee one, is that reflection, like when we look at ourselves in the mirror, is simply looking at the self we cant see. Examining our spirit; the stuff that makes us, well us. Usually that involves a whole discussion about likes and dislikes and then we have to rein it in and talk about the spirit of Lent. After our discussion, when later asked about what we learned about from her mother, the little girl indicated that we had “learned about Lent and it’s not the stuff in your belly button”.

Oh to be young again.

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