The Hunchback of Notre Dame

9 Jan

Teaching moments happen every now and then, completely naturally, without trying to push too hard. I got one of those!

A while ago we bought the kids the dvd of the Hunchback of Notre Dame. They watched it once or twice and quite enjoyed it, until we – Phil and I – decided that we didn’t want them to watch it again. The topic is just a bit grown-up and certain scenes could be upsetting. Well, clearly they were not, since they wanted to watch the story again, but nonetheless, we stuck to our decision.

Every now and then, they would ask to watch that dvd and I would say no, explaining that we feel that the story is just not for them. A few days ago, Lea was going on and on about it, saying that ‘if only she could see it one more time’, and ‘if only I would allow them to see it a little bit’, and if only if only and if only… until I got the light bulb moment – no doubt provided by God! I started to tell Lea that she reminded me of someone. Now her curiosity was picked. Who mama? She reminded me of Eve. Eve who? (with the face expression going with it). Eve from Adam and Eve – confused expression, meaning ‘my mum lost it now’. I went on to explain to her how God had given Adam and Eve the whole garden to eat from and enjoy, except the one tree. Lea was doing the same: from all the dvds that they have and are allowed to watch (and it’s plenty!), she wanted the one that she wasn’t allowed to have. I tried to explain to them – interrupted by the hundreds of ‘why’ and ‘how’ and ‘when’ or Killian – that instead of obeying the rule that God had given, Adam and Eve had chosen to disobey, and that God had clearly told them the consequences: separation from God and death. It was an excellent picture to show them that God always keeps His promises – the good ones and the bad ones. Also an excellent reminder for me never to make promises that I can’t keep for sure.

Then I got a bit carried away and was talking with big enthusiasm and big gestures… God didn’t leave them all alone with no hope. He said He would come and save them. AND WHO DID HE SEND? – silence – WHO CAN FORGIVE AND SAVE US? – little voice, Jesus? Yes! Jesus took our punishment when He died on the cross. Do you think it was easy for Him, or pleasant? – no – No, but He did it for us, because He love us…DID JESUS JUST DIE? – no? – No, He’s alive! WHY? – because He’s God – That is absolutely right!!!

They went on asking me questions about all this, which was really nice. Loads of questions about heaven and how it will be, and where it is… Of course kids have a unique way to think about these things but they understand with the level of understanding that is given to them. And they accept with the level of acceptance that they have. And I love seeing them grow in their understanding at their own pace, and with their different personality. Killian claiming that he is God, and Lea wondering how we can first die and then go to heaven…

So thank you Quasimodo for the opportunity!!

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