Our daughter has always been extremely inquisitive. I think it is because we are not the type of parents who believe that children should only be seen and not heard.
However, some of the topics that Pudd’ng brings up for questioning are beyond us. They are topics that, though not taboo, would make our old school parents to think that we are in urgent need of exorcism. I am talking about religion and faith issues.
When we flip through television channels, I have been trying, as best as my Christian knowledge can, to make baby girl tell the difference between the real McCoy and charlatans. I feel that it is just my job to provide for my daughter the “usual” things, but it is also my duty, even at her young age, to help Pudd’ng navigate what have become the murky waters of religion.
And that is how I have opened the Pandora’s Box. Now, Pudd’ng is shooting questions, many of which I do not answers to. Here are just a few ...
“Where did God come from?”
Me, loudly: “I don’t know.”
Me, inwardly: “Where did that come from?”
Then Pudd’ng started thinking loudly. She murmured that she thought God could have been domiciled in another dimension, before He came to this dimension and created things afresh.
I kept quiet while Pudd’ng thought aloud. I knew where she was coming from. At about her age, I had this same question.
“The Bible says that God was there from the beginning,” I told Pudd’ng. “He was outside time and space, and created time and space.”
“But where did He come from?”
“I don’t know.”
I always encourage my daughter to think for herself. And now that is coming back to bite me.
“Where did Cain go?”
Me: “Of course, he is dead.”
Pudd’ng: “But in the Bible it is written that God told Cain that nobody would kill him.”
Me: “If that is the case, I think he died in Noah’s floods.”
What this question taught me is that, if I want to guide my daughter in the right Christian way, I have to know my Bible. No fumbling about. No guessing.
“Is Jesus Christ really a white man?”
Me: “No, he is not.”
Pudd’ng: “How do you know?”
Me: “Because it is written in the book of Revelation that his skin is the colour of copper and his hair is woolly.”
Pudd’ng: “What’s the colour of copper?”
For the longest time, I thought that Jesus Christ was a Caucasian with blue eyes and long curly hair. But now I know better. And I want my daughter to know as much.
Skin colour and colourism informs a large part how our children, and especially our young girls, perceive themselves. When it is poured into religion and faith issues, and they are made to, so to speak, made to drink this Kool Aid, it destroys their self esteem. Which is why it is imperative for parents and faith leaders to debunk such misconceptions.
Standing in the gap
After 14 children died in the stampede at Kakamega Primary School, I asked Pudd’ng to take the initiative and propose in her school that, each day before they begin lessons, each class should pray for their class, school and all the pupils and teachers in the nation. It may look like it does not amount to much, but I know that prayer works.
“You may not see prayer working with your physical eyes,” I told Pudd’ng, “but I promise you that prayer works.”
Baby girl took it seriously. She tells me that now her entire school stands in the gap for others. Way to go, girl.
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