Harper needs to see the darker side of the world to appreciate the good and to know the plight of many people. In Anne Rice’s book, Christ the Lord, seven year old Jesus witnesses the terror of running from bandits and people intent on robbing and perhaps killing he and his family. He sees the destruction of cities and the many displaced people and is saddened. He is also frightened by this. But in all this Jesus is “sensitive”. He recognizes it as evil even though his child mind doesn’t understand it. I think in reality Jesus did witness similar atrocities and it helped form his compassion for others and refine his message of salvation – a salvation not based in this world, but as a deliverance from it. Or perhaps a transformation of the world by God’s power to be something better. A new earth.
I need to shelter and protect Harper, but I also need to allow him to see some evil in doses he can handle, so that he can have a realistic image of the world he lives in so that he will develop a genuine compassion. I was sheltered too much (with all good intent) by my parents and, consequently, do not have a potent compassion for the plight of others. If harper is to change the world, he needs to understand this…. As do I.