Before nap time, I like to read Parker a story from his children's Bible. He enjoys flipping through the colorful pages, finding an interesting picture, and having that story read to him. Recently, he found the story of the crucifixion. Oh boy.
He lost interest part way through the story and interrupted me:
"Mommy, why did they put nails in his hands?"
I tried to explain the idea that sins required sacrifice, and Jesus offered to be the sacrifice for all of us. In hindsight, perhaps that was a little too high-brow.
"But mommy, why did those guys put nails in his hands?"
"To hang him up and kill him." [How's that for concrete? Lovely bedtime story, huh?]
Parker: But he didn't do anything wrong.
Me: I know.
Parker: [pointing to the picture of the Roman soldiers] Those are bad guys! [thoughtful pause] Well, I'm just going to put nails through their hands!
Me: Jesus wouldn't want that. [Quickly told him the turn-the-other-cheek story.] Jesus even asked his dad, God, to forgive them.
Parker: [shrugging carelessly] I'm still gonna put nails in their hands.
Me: [a little alarmed his last statement reflected all the compassion of a trained assassin] But that's not what Jesus would do!
Parker: Well that's what I would do.
And with a satisfied nod, he closed the Bible. End of story.
Note to self: Might be nice if next Bible story focuses on grace/forgiveness...Just a thought.