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Garbage In? Garbage Out.

Pat has been cutting my hair for a few years now and she has become a good friend. We never seem to run out of things to talk about and usually our conversations are very meaningful.

This morning, Pat was telling me a story about her seven-year-old daughter. Everyone in Kristen’s class had prepared a five-minute presentation about their family tree. One little boy got up in front of the class and mentioned his little sister, who had died in a car crash last year and gone to heaven with Jesus. Kristen, being a very sensitive little girl, became very sad and withdrawn for the rest of the school day but when she got home, she scrambled off the bus, ran into the house and broke into tears.

When Pat swooped little Kristen up in her arms and asked what was wrong, Kristen was shaking and asked,”Mommy, does Jesus have purple skin and a wart on His face?”

Immediately, Pat remembered an incident about three years ago when Kristen received a “Little Mermaid” make-up mirror for Christmas. There were two buttons on the mirror – if you pushed the red one, Ariel’s pretty little face and mermaid body would magically appear on the mirror. If you pushed the other button, Ursula, the sea witch/sorceress would appear. The first time that Kristen saw Ursula appear in the mirror, it traumatized her. Ursula was an obese, purple-skinned, big mouthed, beady eyed, white-haired female human with a facial mole but from the waist down, she had six black tentacles. She was ugly and scary and it disturbed Kristen so much that she started having nightmares and she begged her parents to put the mirror in the garage.

That was three years ago, yet that experience was forever etched into Kristen’s little seven year old mind. This week, when Kristen heard about her classmate’s little sister dying and being with Jesus, she immediately connected death with fear and sadness…and Ursula’s grotesque image came to the forefront of her mind.

It’s disturbing, isn’t it?  It certainly puts forth an excellent case for the importance of guarding our hearts and minds.

Thankfully, Pat was able to intervene and speak truth into Kristen’s life but this story does cast shadows on what we allow our children and ourselves to watch and listen to, doesn’t it?  What we expose ourselves to does indeed affect us.  As a friend of mine used to tell me, “Garbage in? Garbage out.”

Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.         Philippians 4:8

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  1. Linda

    Ursula…how many nights did we try to convince our daughter that she just didn’t exist! That illustration of the sea witch who sang and slithered her way around was frightening to our girl and even now she does not like that movie!!! Those images have a profound affect on our children, sometimes well into young adulthood. Isn’t it just like the enemy to invade our thoughts over and over again with ugliness? I’ve heard that those images can cause children a reaction similar to post tramatic stress syndrome!
    Good for Pat that she listened to her daughter and didn’t make light of her fears and that she gave her words of truth, comfort and love!!!

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