Journeying through The Hundred Acre Wood
“Unless you change and become like a child you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Mat 18:3). We can all appreciate the sentiment to become more innocent, more trusting, more humble, but in truth, no one wants to become like a child.
We view the child as inferior to us in some way. The child is to be instructed, brought up, and taught the truth about the world. The innocent forthrightness of the child quickly becomes old and embarrassing when continued as an adult. Naivete is generally thought of as a weakness. What’s more the child must learn, that not only is life unfair, it is also painful.
Does anyone really want to become like a child?
Recently, I watched the film Christopher Robin. In the film, Christopher Robin, the childhood friend of Winnie the Pooh essentially grows up. Christopher becomes a man, experiences the great war, gets a job, settles down with his wife and has a child.
However, the older Christopher is jaded, and a workaholic. He finds himself less able to focus on the things important in life, and slowly watches his marriage and relationship with his daughter break down.
However, through a strange series of events, Christopher Robin, encounters his once forgotten “Pooh Bear.”
What struck me most about the film was the way in which Winnie the Pooh was able to melt the heart of Christopher Robin. This did not take place through long sermons, or through a judgmental stance on the part of Pooh.
Rather, the little bear innocently, listened and was present to his childhood friend. Perhaps, more beautifully, there is a sense that Winnie the pooh loved his friend, and in this love, allowed himself to be questioned, hurt, and sometimes ridiculed by Christopher Robin.
Here is the beauty of the “child” which Jesus pointed to. The child does not have all the answers, in fact he or she has none really. Yet, they love, and allow themselves to be hurt in their love.
Perhaps here is where our culture, and perhaps even our faith, needs once again a journey to the Hundred Acre Wood.