the majority of the bible deals with pretty heavy topics. the details surrounding saul’s conversion are intense. standing by as an apostle is stoned to death is about as bad as you can get. sometimes i worry how to translate these lessons for 9-year olds.
a few months ago when bossman’s daughter was in town an impromptu bible study was convened in his office. we had four different kinds of christians and one jew, all discussing our favorite passages and people. i picked paul. i love his writings in the epistles. i love his power and imagery and eloquence. ultimately, i love his conversion.
so there i was sunday, explaining how water can be converted into ice cubes or steam. one smarty pants corrected me, saying steam is actually vapor and ice cubes are actually a solid… science lesson aside, we focused on that conversion.
and then we spoke of christ and his far-reaching and all cleansing atonement in terms of food coloring and bleach. my object lesson back fired slightly when the bleach joined the completely opaque water and the color did not change. the kids wanted me to shake the jar, they wanted to inspect it up close. the blackness of the water did not budge.
feeling a little defeated, we turned off the light and watched one of my favorite mormon messages on my laptop. the story caught their attention. when we turned the lights on, they were eager to check on “saul’s sins” floating around darkly in the jar. they had now turned a deep purple with hints of red.
over the next hour the kids kept checking in on those pesky transgressions that just didn’t seem to want to leave. by the end of sunday school it appeared that i had brought a jar filled with pee to church.
“well kids,” i said, “sometimes repentance takes a while, it can be a hard and long process, especially if you’re as bad as saul!”
*i like to look for rainbows whenever there is rain and ponder on the beauty of an earth made clean again. i know when i am baptized my wrongs are washed away, and I can be forgiven and improve myself each day. i want my life to be as clean as earth right after rain. i want to be the best I can and live with god again.
—when i am baptized