Tuesday, June 3, 2008

I Saw Jesus Today

I saw Jesus today.

Now, you may think I'm going to share that neat devotional about seeing Jesus in people you meet. I like that one, too. And I see Jesus in my blog friends. But, that's not where I'm going.

I saw Jesus today.

He was on the aisle next to all the bubble products at the local "Stuff Mart." I was looking for mini-surfboards when his beard and long hair caught my eye.

"What's Jesus doing here?" I thought, and then immediately chuckled. "Why wouldn't Jesus be here? But....here????"

The whole scene left me feeling a bit perplexed. I walked around the entire toy shelf and came back for a closer look. Truly, I don't think I've seen a Jesus "action figure" before. There were many boxes lined up. There were boxes of Mary as well, plus a few smaller boxes with Moses and some other figures, AND, a roll-out mat for the characters to travel upon, though I didn't see where they would be going.

A Jesus "action figure."

Apparently, he's not available at Stuff Mart's website, but I did find a description elsewhere: "Messengers of Faith Bible Action Figures make learning about the Bible fun. By activating a voice chip built into the doll, children will hear a story about Jesus as well as a number of Bible verses. Includes a story book and additional resources from Focus on the Family. Measures 12" tall, and is fully articulated. Features realistic eyes, hand-sewn cloth outfits and sandals, 63 seconds of Scripture, recorded in an easy-to-memorize style. Requires 3 button cell batteries, included."

I'm still wrestling with whether this is such a great idea. I know children love to play with dolls of all sorts. Why should Jesus be any different? He comes with Scripture. (Good thing!) Perhaps it's me thinking ahead to what happens when Jesus meets Barbie or Jesus meets a Webkins.... Again, what's wrong with that?

I fear it's really me being a grown-up and having a conversation that goes something like:
"Those are just dolls; they're not real. Jesus isn't just a doll. He's real. He's God's Son."
"Just like it says on the package."
"Yeah....just like it--What?! No.... I mean. Yes....I mean.... NO....."
And what happens when Jesus meets a Transformer or a Power Ranger or a WWF action figure?
"My Jesus can take on your Power Ranger any day!"
"Oh, yeah!?"
Sandals and torn hand-sewn clothes get twisted with fake metal parts, unless someone intervenes.
Jesus, our Lord, packaged in a box for kids to learn 63 seconds of Scripture (for $19.95 online, shipping costs vary). I'm sure the Focus on the Family folks are thinking only the best things for Jesus out there in the toy world. Just as Jesus, our Lord, came to this world to show us love and to overcome the power of sin on our behalf, Jesus, the action figure, comes to this world to show kids a small part of who He is. Is that so bad?

He'll forgive Barbie for her low-cut shirts. He'll hug a Webkins. (Surely, Jesus would agree that they are cuddly.) He has strength and power beyond the crucifixion, which is enough to overpower the vast warehouses of Power Rangers, et al.

But, without the guidance of someone who knows the Lord and is ready to take the next step with our kids, even this Jesus is going to need some help accomplishing his mission.

I just don't want to see Jesus become another doll in the toy box....

"Then God spoke all these words, saying, 'I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth....'"

--Exodus 20: 1-4 (NASB)


My ADHD Me said...

I KNOW! I've seen Him before too. And I, like you, was not too sure how I felt about it. As with most action figures, he could very well end up in the bathtub, redressed or even headless. I don't think I'm too keen on the Jesus action figure but on the other hand.....
(Welcome back!)

Chatty Kelly said...

I saw this too. (love the title and lead in, by the way!!) I even pressed the button to hear him talk. Hmm - that is a whole other blog - wouldn't it be nice to just be able to press a button to hear Jesus talk?? But then, don't we have to bible for just that purpose - no press of the button necessary.

I struggle with this too. If it gets our kids excited about Jesus and quoting scripture, that's exciting! But seeing Jesus take Barbi for a ride in the pink convertible, just might be too much to bear.

We have a plastic nativity we pull out at Christmas and while the older girl always used it to act out the actual story, the little girl uses it to play. Even the donkey talks (Maybe it's Balaam's donkey?). Do I intervene? Do I let her enjoy the set knowing she'll get the real message eventaully.

Should we or shouldn't we buy it? What would Jesus do?

The Patterson 5 said...

Wow! I haven't seen this yet. I don't think I will be buying the Jesus doll. Too risky with out extreme guidance. It's hard to imagine what Jesus would do in every imaginary situation and what are the ramifications of playing disrespectfully with the Jesus doll? Plus would that put him out there with spiderman and the hulk-the kids know they are pretend. Jesus is real-wouldn't that send a mixed message by having a doll Jesus next to the hulk. I know children are concrete thinkers but aren't we more blessed because we believe in what is not seen? Maybe I am thinking too hard about this doll. I'd better just stick with the regular, really pretend ones.
John 20:29 "Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." (NIV)

Sonya said...

Great post today! I am probably against this doll. I saw a brief media clip and they were saying that if the stores are willing to sell these that they are sure to start selling Ala and Budah action figures in the near future.

Does making Jesus a doll make him less real, less powerful? No, but would it confuse our children? That's the concerning question.

Too disrespectful for me.

Anonymous said...

By the way, I love the new photo! Very bright and attractive!

Chatty Kelly (not longed on)

The Patterson 5 said...

Love your new picture!

My ADHD Me said...

Tell your sister I said hi!