Bullet Proof

“Dad, do you think they could make a bullet proof pan?”

David was drying dishes, holding a frying pan in his hand. I was trying to visualize something made of Kevlar: if they could do it with Teflon, why not Kevlar?

“Yes, I suppose they could David.”

“Yeah then you could throw it and the handle would fall off and blades would come out all around the edge.”

“Yes, uh-huh.”

“And then you could cut people’s head’s off.”

“Well, David, that would be cool.” What else could I say?

He then went on with a variety of elaborate and bizarre ideas about attack frying pans, most of which were lost on me as I wondered with mild concern why he’d spent so much time thinking about military kitchen ware. Maybe he was being forced to dry too many dishes? Maybe he was thinking of hurling some of his bullet proof missiles at me or his mother?

“Would the soldiers still be able to use them to fry bacon?” I asked him.

“Yeah,” he laughed.

I’m not sure he’d remembered the peaceful uses of the instrument.

A child’s imagination is a fascinating thing. There are times when they seem lost, or quite happily found, in their only little worlds.

Margaret recently commented on the complexity of Johnny’s imagination.

“He was playing over there in the corner jumping his little cars and animals all over the cat’s play area, just chuntering away.” Margaret uses a wide variety of handy Scots vocabulary that rarely needs explanation.

The other day John was playing on the mantle with the cap of a pen and two halves of a peanut shell. Who knows what he was thinking.

Imagination is a distinguishing feature of humankind. The author of Genesis writes that we are created “in the image of God,” and for centuries scholars have debated the meaning of that profound little phrase. Some have suggested, and I am inclined to agree, that it means we are able to imagine and create, as God does, although as a child next to an adult.

Jesus himself argued quite plainly that lest we become like a little child we would never enter the kingdom of heaven.

I’m not sure he had bullet proof frying pans and peanut shells in mind, but its worth thinking about, even as they chunter away at our feet.

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