The Loss of Childhood Innocence

I have a hard time watching children’s television shows. My daughter loves Noggin, the channel that’s like pre-school on TV. Noggin used to sign-off at 5:00 P.M. The sign-off song was one of the saddest songs I’ve heard. I recall one time actually crying when I heard the song. It didn’t help that I buried a dear member of my congregation earlier that day.

Watching children’s TV out of the corner of my eye makes me pine for the days when I was young. I didn’t have a care in the world. What I wouldn’t give to return to those days of innocence!

That’s what I told my therapist a while back. One of the struggles in my life was dealing with the fecal matter (putting it nicely) the devil, the world, and my sinful flesh throws at me every day. Just once I wouldn’t mind being a five-year-old again, watching Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, Sesame Street (before Elmo hijacked 15 minutes every day), and cartoons. I knew a snack would come at 2:30 when Mom wakes up from her nap. I didn’t have to worry about money, my congregation’s money, fragile egos of people who are comfortable in sin, and the delicate balances of day-to-day parish life.

When I see my daughter watching “Yo Gabba Gabba” or “Max and Ruby” (a personal favorite of mine) or “Dora the Explorer”, I mourn the loss of childhood innocence. I mourn not having responsibilities.

I suppose it’s a little like Adam and Eve looking at the Angel wielding a flaming sword guarding the gate to the Garden of Eden while they set out into the real world. Perhaps they shed a tear or two wishing they could have what they once had: innocence from sin and death. Alas, it wasn’t to be.

They did have one thing: a Promise. God promised Adam and Eve that the Seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent that led them into sin. The serpent would bruise the Seed’s heel, but by that wound mankind would once again be free of sin’s death grip.

I love how the Historic Lectionary treats Advent. You get two weeks of end times before two weeks of John the Baptist. All this end times preaching stretching back to All Saints Day makes my eyes scan the skies looking for Jesus’ return. When He comes, as we’ll sing Sunday, “with clouds descending”, I’ll be more than ready for innocence to return. This time, it’ll be better than when I was five. I’ll be with Jesus forever.

I can’t wait.



One Response to “The Loss of Childhood Innocence”

  1. Dear KT,

    I’ve been following your blog these past few weeks. I want to thank you for writing so openly about your experiences. It’s comforting and enlightening for all of us — whether we suffer from depression ourselves or have loved ones who do.

    BTW, you write beautifully. You should publish some of this stuff sometime.

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