“But these are written, that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might have life through his name.”
They say what goes around comes around. A couple of years ago, my nephew (3 or 4 at the time) came to visit us in Cape Town. We overheard him talking to a mannequin in a shop and laughed as he said bye to it when we left. Of course we laughed and have never forgotten the incident.
Fast forward a few years, I have a 2 year old and she absolutely loves mannequins. She cries to go to shops, so that she can see mannequins.
On youth day we decided to take a drive to town. My husband took the scenic drive, above the N2 so we could have a nice view of the harbour as we drove in. As we waited for the robot to go green opposite parliament, my little girl screamed with delight! ‘Mama, Papa! Look at my castle! I like it, I want to go in.’ Before we could ask, she screamed even louder ‘Mannequin’!!! To our left, was st Mary’s cathedral. The castle was the church and if I hadn’t known it was a church I would have thought it was a castle. Not sure if I should blame school or tv on the castle thing.
The mannequin is what got to me however. There were 2, one of Mary and baby Jesus. And the other was of Christ, crucified on the cross. We always talk about the different mannequins and explain what they are doing. How do I tell my 2 year old that the mannequin is depicting Jesus Christ who died for her? Is it too early to tell her about the Saviour? Do I keep quiet and let her think its just another old mannequin? If I don’t tell her now, then when do I tell her?
Someone said to me that parents don’t know how to teach Christ to their kids, that they take random stories from the bible and ‘throw’ them at their kids. That got me thinking, just how is a parent supposed to teach a child? And are there any random stories in the bible? If there are, why are they there? Don’t we believe that the bible is the inspired word of God? If it is, then surely there is no random story. We started with the popular stories in the bible, and even though we tell her lots of stories, some she remembers and likes more than others.
It has been on my mind for a while and I think I am going to take her back to that church. Not just drive past, but go inside the ‘castle’. Show her the mannequin of Christ on the cross and explain to her that Christ came to die for all of us. She may not get it or understand it now, but one day, she will get it and understand.