Hangin’ with Hindus Today

Where was I going when it started to snow?

I was offered a last minute “gig” today by a fellow performer who was overbooked for today – and since my wife was making cookies all day with a friend, I decided to go ahead and do the gig and get a little extra Christmas spending money. I had no idea where I was going – just to take my balloons and go entertain kids for two hours. I took a box of magic and a puppet too, ready for anything.

As soon as I pulled up to the banquet hall I knew I was heading into a very nice place… and that I was going to be in the minority. (A good experience, one of the interesting aspects of foreign missions – its good to be the one who is unlike everyone else once and awhile.)

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As soon as I entered the banquet room I could see this was no streamers, dixie cups, pot-luck and Kool-aid event! I’d never seen covered chairs like this before, and on the stage was a beautifully decorated bassinet.

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Here is the woman who hired me, and this little two month old baby was the center of the event. She explained to me that it was a religious dedication for the baby – that the service was over, and this was the reception party.

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The children’s outfits were exquisite.

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Of course, all kids love balloons, from any culture or background!

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This was the first boy I met, and while very shy, he followed me around the entire time… a little fan. I actually was sad to leave him.

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The children were simply adorable. While, obviously, I come from a very different religious background, I appreciated that I was made to feel very welcome, even as I stood out quite a bit! Their love for their kids was obvious, and the expense and showering of love on this little boy was touching. It was obvious that this little baby, while oblivious to it now, will be growing up in a community that has rallied around him.

While my pastor’s heart longs for these sweet children (and their parents) to come to know Jesus – I celebrate that they are very intentional in their responsibility to begin at the youngest age to raise their kids in their faith. Are we as serious? Do we realize that the investment we make together as a community to raise our children in the Truth is critical? When religions we consider “lost” make every effort make sure their children will remain true to their beliefs, I wonder if we sometimes are put to shame. I believe many parents spend more time worrying whether their kids think they are “cool parents” than whether they will remain true to Jesus throughout life.

Let me quote a magnificant quote from part of a Kidology thread that I thought was a masterpiece:

This world we live in comes with some interesting “rules.” If you are passionate about animals being treated ethically, it is okay to pass this belief on to your children…and even have them picket with you. Die hard Cubs fans can by t-shirts for their infants emblazoned with the Cubs’ logo, and raise their child from birth to root for a team that hasn’t won a series for, oh, one hundred years. Republicans and Democrats alike can pass their political beliefs down with no one blinking an eye. Vegan parents can create vegan children who can, in turn, tell everyone why veganism is the way. Environmentalists teach their kids to recycle and tell the world about being a friend to the earth. I once had a child emphatically tell me why Pepsi is better than Coke…something her Dad told her. All of these create children who have exclusive beliefs.

But religion, now that is something we should not teach.

Any god who can be manipulated by my social concerns….soft-pedaled so as not to offend anyone…rewritten to fit a certain script…is a god who is not big enough and great enough to be much good to me. That would be a god fashioned by human hands. My God is not that way. He is great and mighty and powerful and present. I can’t change Him to fit a mold, but if I allow Him, He can change me to fit His.

I do have a choice, as does everyone. I can choose not to follow. Everyone has their own freewill.

When I teach children, and I am sure this is true of most everyone participating in Kidology, I present truth and offer choices. Some children will choose the way of Jesus, and others won’t. Forcing them to choose “my” way is not only impossible, but impractical and not my responsibility. Personally, I don’t want a child making a decision because of me, because salvation comes to an individual making a personal decision. You have to mean what you say.

My thinking may not be in keeping with the world, but I am not a vegan, either. I am not involved in PETA. I am not a Cubs fan. I am a Republican. Sometimes I forget to recycle. I do like Pepsi.

-Nancy Keith, Kidology CP Team member

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4 Comments:

  1. Powerful words! We must teach our child while they are young.

  2. All I can say is WOW!! So many thoughts go through my mind as I read this…, but WOW sums it up!

    Thanks SO MUCH for sharing this…

  3. Karl, Really enjoyed this blog. Now can you see why I was so excited about the children that I met in India this last summer? Such cute kids, O my, I loved it. Karl, let’s go to India this next summer so we can do more than just “Hang with the Hindus.”

    I have an invitation to do a conference for children’s leaders of 2,000 churches. I could use some help. Seriously, would you pray about going with me? I could be a great time in the state of Kerala, India. Let’s talk about this, OK? Barney

  4. Wow! That must have been a neat experience!

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