Master, tell me the truth, does the baby Jesus exist?
It seemed to be an afternoon like all the others, the time was approaching to give the class to the group of 3rd-grade children, I decided to do something different, I would give the class in a courtyard surrounded by trees to receive a cool breeze and we all felt more relaxed.
Suddenly a group of children approached abruptly, they had faced angry features, arms crossed, something tormented them.
A girl spoke to me in a loud voice and asked me a question, she was the leader of the group, cunning, tremendous, tall and popular at school. She said, "teacher we want to ask you a question, but we want you to answer us with the truth, I know you will tell us the truth because we trust you".
In an instant, I was surrounded by that group and everyone was silent, I never imagined what they wanted to know but I was willing to answer with all sincerity.
The girl continued saying, "We are all confused, some say that the child Jesus does not exist, that it is a lie of our parents, that we have been deceived by others that it does exist, I believe that it does exist". (Child Jesus character of Venezuelan Christmas, who leaves gifts on Christmas Eve, similar to Santa Claus).
"You tell us the truth, does it exist or does it not exist?"
At that moment I wanted the earth to swallow me, everything went into slow motion, I swallowed thick and saw how all the children began to exchange opinions and they told me to tell us the truth, we want the truth.
I took a deep breath and asked God for help and enlightenment to respond, then I was filled with tenderness to see so much innocence in front of me, children so intelligent, curious, naughty, but who kept an innocence in their beliefs.
I discovered that truth when I was 5 years old, how was it possible that in these times there were children over 8 years old without knowing it!
But, what I was going to tell them, that it didn't exist, I would tell them the truth they were looking for, how to break that innocence in a second, what authority I had to do it, if I did it for sure it would cause a great disappointment and sadness in them and their parents would kill me the next day, I couldn't do that.
Then what would I do would lie to them, defraud the trust they put in me, leave them with doubt and discord between those who believed and those who did not. This was one of the most difficult questions I faced as a teacher; silence returned and I watched as their eyes looked at me deeply and penetratingly, time became eternal.
Suddenly I remembered the different religions that coexisted in my country, so I told them:
- That depends on what religion is your family and what country you are in.
- Catholic families receive the child, Jesus.
- Evangelical families receive gifts from their parents.
- Jehovah's Witness families also receive gifts from their relatives.
- There are families in other countries that receive St. Nicholas or Santa Claus.
- So they will depend on the belief of their families.
They all looked at each other and smiled with gestures of satisfaction, some embraced me and thanked me for my sincerity, others said to each other, "You saw that it does exist, only that it comes to my house and not to yours".
With a new breath, I thanked God for giving me the best answer and with this I say goodbye if you have in your hands the possibility of maintaining a conserved illusion, show respect for the beliefs of others and try to bring joy, hopefully, my experience will serve them well.