As a preschool teacher, I am never lacking in interesting, amusing conversation. The topics span from how their fathers wax their eyebrows to why ears are mushy and fingers are not to amusing misunderstandings.
Today, while on the playground kid came to me in hysterics about a trike and how it wasn’t his turn. This is pretty normal, but sobbing usually indicates sickness, sleepiness, or some other internalized disturbance.
After explaining the trike situation, the little boy then proceeded to say through tears and frantic eyes without transition “And the people, they DIED. The kids! They died! Died! Then they went to the bad place. The bad place called Heaven.”
Wiping away tears and calming him down, he then described to me that when people go on the ground they then go to the bad place. (Perhaps how he is understanding being buried?)
The transition in our conversation then turned to Jesus. Not happy Jesus, baby Jesus, six-pack-ab Jesus….but the bleeding, hurt, dying Jesus on the cross (and I don’t say that with admiration.) He made a circle around the crown of his head and said “And then the man, he had a hat and it made him bleed. Then the people died and went to the bad place.” I then asked him what the man’s name was: “Jesus.”
Then he ran to the finally free trike and our Jesus conversation was done. Granted, this little kids has an amazing imagination that I wish I could capture and slip into adult’s drinks like roofies, but the details are there and his mind is trying to make sense of it.
The cross has always bothered me. It’s always made me uncomfortable, not in the heart-touching, wow I’m glad someone did that for me way…but in a ‘this was capital punishment and we are glorifying it’ way. This conversation just made my opinion of the glorified cross even worse. A savior dying (on a cross or any other means) should be glorified for their actions, not because of the way they died; and a savior dying shouldn’t terrify a little boy.
Moral of the story: Don’t show your five-year-old an ancient torture device in action, even if your faith hangs from it.