Reading the Bible with girlsBy Sarah Kehrberg
If they had read [the Bible], I thought, they would have hid it. — Annie Dillard, American Childhood
My daughter was lining up the matching pairs of animals outside Noah’s plastic ark. She pointed to Noah’s wife and asked, “What’s her name?”
I considered “Trudy,” but then said, “I don’t know.”
“Because the Bible doesn’t tell us.”
What was I to say? She was 4 years old. I shrugged and did not lie. “I’m not sure. It just doesn’t.”
I love the Bible. It has often brought comfort and strength, but it can be vexing as well. Reading it with my daughters and hearing its stories through their literal and trusting ears, it has even been painful.
Take for instance Abraham’s stay in Egypt. Abraham was afraid Pharaoh would kill him to get at his beautiful wife, Sarah. So Abraham told everyone that Sarah was his sister. Pharaoh “took her into his palace,” and Abraham was showered with gifts.
We were reading a Bible storybook appropriately edited for children, and still the tale did not sit right with my daughter. “But Mom, did Sarah want to go with Pharaoh?”
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