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  • shawnmariespry

Cleverly Devised Stories

I do not have one of those disturbing photos of myself with the Easter bunny. Thank goodness! Have you seen some of these?!! I actually just laughed until I cried.

Oh my! But there are many sweet photos of non-terrified children with sweet Beatrix-Potter-like Peter Rabbit bunnies. Come to think of it, I have one of those! Here's our first-born with a nice bunny.

Sweet Bailey June's angelic smile belies her belief in the authenticity of this bunny. Spring 1999

We did the Easter routine with baskets, eggs and candy for a number of years. We also did Santa Claus too, with visits and stories. A couple of years, while home schooling with a Waldorf influence, I mixed it up with early-December shoe-filling on Saint Nicholas Day. Jake may have gotten coal, just sayin'.

I don’t ever recall my parents taking me to the mall to sit on Santa’s lap. As a child, I was a bit sore about not being in on the Santa scheme. My mother, a true pragmatist, was not given to fanciful stories of gift-giving bunnies and bearded men.

I don’t even remember her warning me not to ruin the story for others. I’m guessing a number of well-meaning parents had to re-double their efforts after I disputed the tooth-fairy, et al.

So, I formally apologize--not to the aforementioned in whom I planted doubt--but, to my children, for ever misrepresenting the truth about these non-essential childhood legends.

Date night at the mall. Is Scott off-duty or undercover? Circa 1988

I eventually came to the same position as my mother. The kids still got money under their pillows for teeth, goodies on Easter and gifts for Christmas, but they were all from Dad and Mom.

Bailey's hair is her fault; she snuck scissors into the bathroom. Jake's hair is my fault, my first and last try at hairdressing. Aaron, undecided about The Big Man, appears to have retained a natural hairline. 2003

I so admire how consistent my parents were in explaining the essentials to their three children. We each knew, from the very beginning, if we were related biologically or by adoption. And we also knew it didn’t make one bit of difference in how we were treated or loved.

We learned the correct anatomical names for all our body parts. No silly little names for our “privates”. We knew where babies came from and how they were made.

Most importantly, we were taught the truth about the existence of God, Jesus, the Bible and the creation of all things. And they not only instructed us in it, but lived the gospel in deed.

“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” Proverbs 9:10

At some point, every child grows up and has to decide, “Is what my parents taught me—about bunnies, fairies and saviors—true?”

God knows this. It’s no coincidence that his chosen people’s name, Israel, means “to struggle with God.” Passivity is not rewarded when it comes to working out our faith.

I coasted along in my Christian walk until my mid-thirties, when I began to seriously question and examine the evidence. Is the story that Bennie and Bonnie Shellnut told me really true, I wondered, and how can I know?

Is the text trustworthy? Can the events/people in the stories be corroborated by non-Christians/extra-Biblical texts? Is there enough archeological evidence? Did the story change over time? And a toughie, is God good?

My conclusions: yes, yes, yes, no and yes! I recommitted my loyalty to Jesus/Yeshua after discovering more than adequate amounts of evidence to support the veracity and goodness of God and his word.

And today, I—along with myriad others—celebrate the bodily resurrection of the only God-Man that ever lived, died and defeated death eternally for all mankind who trust in him. If you haven't already become loyal to him, I’d love to share more about why doing so is a matter of life or death, joy or grief.

I’ll be at the Bloomfield Panera Bread this Thursday eve (4/25) from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Please stop by for a cuppa and a chat. I’d love to see you. I’ll be the one in the creepy bunny costume. Not.

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