Ignorance leads to unfounded fears.
Roo has been playing with Lumpy, a young "Heffalump." Roo wants to introduce Lumpy to his friends so that they will have a better understanding of Heffalumps, so he and Lumpy march off to the fence separating the Heffalump's forest from the Hundred Acre Wood.
Fear, Favoritism, Prejudice, Folly, Evangelism
As Lumpy approaches the fence, he draws up short. Roo doesn't understand why Lumpy won't come along. Lumpy replies, "I'm not supposed to go into that part of the woods. Scary things live there." Roo laughs and says, "That's where I live! There aren't any scary things in there!" Lumpy disagrees, "Are too. There's a stripy thing that bounces and goes, Woo hoo hoo hoo! And then it pounces!" Roo giggles and says, "No, that's Tigger. You're wrong about him. He's great!" Lumpy continues, "And there's a little pink monster that squeals and shakes all the time -- and will get you if you don't watch out!" Roo says that Lumpy is wrong again, explaining that little Piglet wouldn't hurt anyone. Finally, Lumpy explains, "Then there's this LOUD thing. And it's got these long ears, and he yells at everybody!" Roo has to admit that Lumpy is "kinda right about Rabbit. But he's okay -- once you get to know him." Lumpy says that he "doesn't want to get to know him." Afraid, he says, "Do I have to?" Roo finally realizes that Lumpy is really scared. Roo tries to calm him, "But my friends aren't scary." But Lumpy protests, "un, huh!" Roo wants to know, "Who told you all this stuff?" Lumpy replies, "I don't know. Everybody knows." Roo realizes something, "That's just what Rabbit and Tigger said about Heffalumps. There's nothing scary here." Lumpy asks, "Promise?" And Roo confidently says, "Promise." Together, they manage to squeeze Lumpy through the fence and together they explore the Hundred Acre Woods without fear.
Kid's Application: Lumpy is afraid because he believes things that aren't true about the creatures that he has never met in the Hundred Acre Wood! We look at Lumpy and think he is being silly; but don't we sometimes judge people, or fear them, just because they might be different from us, or unfamiliar? The Bible tells many stories about how people used to behave toward those who were different from them. The Apostles did not want Jesus to speak to a Samaritan woman by a well. The Apostle Peter had to be shown by God that it was okay to speak to the Gentiles. James warns us not to pay special attention to someone just because they are rich, while ignoring the poor. What God wants us to do is to love everyone, and share the Good News with them. He does not care where they came from, if they are rich or poor, or what color their skin might be. What kinds of things can you do to share the Good News about Jesus with people who are different than you? Adult Application: This is a pretty silly scene, but it reflects the way that disinformation can lead to fear. If we believe wrongly, it can lead to false conclusions that can make us fearful. It is not unusual for people to quake at the unknown. When the apostles were in a boat that appeared to be in danger of sinking, it was their lack of knowledge about the power of Jesus that led to their fear. God has given us His Word -- He is not completely unknown to us. But even today, those who know nothing of God's great love and compassion sometimes fear Him in an unhealthy way. It is our obligation to share the Good News with people so that they will not be ignorant, but recognize the good that God wishes to do for them and the love He wants to share with them. God's kingdom is not a scary place for those who know Him rightly, and put their trust in Him.