Wednesday, March 25, 2015

“Two Dolls”

A Compassionate Theology: Creation

This conversation, or one very similar, took place between my daughter and I when she was in year 5 at a public primary school. I truly cherish Rachael and her beautiful heart.

Daughter: “Today, my teacher was telling us about how it took billions of years for the world to be made. Why doesn’t she believe in God? How can she believe in Evolution? Can’t she see that God made the World?”

Dad: “There are many people who believe in God and Evolution.”

Daughter: “But God made the world in six days!”

Dad: “Why do you say that?”

Daughter: “Because that’s what the Bible says.”

Dad: “Actually, there are two stories in the Bible about Creation. Things are created in different orders in the two stories. And, one story mentions days while the other story doesn’t. The two stories are back-to-back in Genesis 1 and 2.”

Daughter: “How can they both be in the Bible if they are different?”

Dad: “Good question! What do you think?”

Daughter: “Because one is right and the other is wrong?”

Dad: “Hmmmm. What if they are both right?”

Daughter: “What? How can they both be right?”

Dad: “Maybe the Bible presents two Creation stories so we can choose the one that speaks to us most clearly?”

Daughter: “I guess. But what does that have to do with Evolution?”

Dad: “Let me ask you a question.”

Daughter: “OK.”

Dad: “Pretend your birthday was today and you got a present from Mum – a beautiful hand-crafted doll. You say thanks and hug the doll. You ask Mum where she got the doll and Mum explains how she searched everywhere yesterday at the shops to find just the right gift and when she saw it, she knew it was for you! How do you feel about the gift?”

Daughter: “Amazing! I would love it!”

Dad: “Now let me change the story. You unwrap the present and it’s the same hand-crafted doll. You thank your Mum and hug the doll. You ask where she got the doll and she laughs and tells you she spent months making it, each night after you went to bed. Which doll would you like more?”

Daughter: “The second one!”

Dad: “But, you wouldn’t know the other story.”

Daughter: “Oh, I guess not. If she bought it at the store, I wouldn’t think about the doll she made. I guess I would like them the same because I would only know the one story.”

Dad: “Now let’s look at it from your Mum’s perspective. What difference is there in the two stories? Do both stories show that your Mum loves you?”

Daughter: “Yes. Because she got me a beautiful gift.”

Dad: “Which story do you like best?”

Daughter: “The one where Mum makes the doll.”

Dad: “Why?”

Daughter: “Because my mum made it for me and she was thinking about me for all that time!”

Dad: “What do these two doll stories and the two Creation stories have in common?”

Daughter: “I guess that there are different ways to provide gifts for your children.”

Dad: “Good point! Now think about the Christians who believe God took a long time creating the universe for them rather than doing it quickly in six days. How could the beauty of nature be just as meaningful to them as it is to those people who believe in a quick creation?”

Daughter: “Because God took so much time doing it, like the Mum who made the gift slowly rather than buying it quickly.”

Dad: “So, now what do you think about Christians who believe in Evolution?”

Daughter: “I think maybe they love God lots because He was thinking about them for billions of years before He gave them the gift He was making for them!”

Dad: “And what about Christians who believe God made the Earth in six days? Do they love God, too?”

Daughter: “Of course! Because God made the perfect place for them to live!”

Dad: “Which story do you think is true?”

Daughter: “I don’t know. I wasn’t there!”

Dad: “You’re funny.”

Daughter: “Maybe God put two different Creation stories at the beginning of the Bible because He knew about the Evolution story and wanted people to be ready.”

Dad: “Ready for what?”

Daughter: “To love each-other anyway.”

Dad: “That’s a good thought. I think you are right!”

Daughter: “Hey Dad, I just had a weird thought. Maybe my teacher does believe in God. I thought she didn’t because she teaches Evolution. But, maybe she does!”

Dad: “Well, there’s one way to find out.”

Daughter: “I’m going to ask her tomorrow.”

Dad: “That’s wonderful.”

Daughter: “But first, I’m gonna tell her the story of the two dolls.”

Dad: “Good idea! You’re a great storyteller, just like Jesus.”

Daughter: “Thanks, Dad!”

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