Questions in a Child’s Heart

The Beginning

The Author at age 5

Ann at age 5


It all started when I was 5 years old, the questions in a child’s heart. I was invited to a church picnic – and raced home on my tricycle with the news! This  would be almost like going to church, which I never got to do.  Every Sunday I played alone. I felt funny and different in a bad way on Sundays and on any day when people asked me what religion I was. I wasn’t anything. Maybe going to the church picnic would make it different.

I never knew how my mother found out the bad news about that picnic.  I only know that just before the big day she told me she was so sorry, but I couldn’t go. “It’s going to be at a swimming pool which is ‘restricted’,” she explained. “Restricted means your father isn’t allowed there because he is Jewish.” I knew my father was Jewish and my mother used to go to a Methodist Church – when she was little.  I didn’t know what any of this had to do with the picnic or with me. “We never go anywhere your father isn’t wanted”, my mother explained.

 “Why don’t they like him?.” My heart was broken and I didn’t understand. Hadn’t I been invited? If they didn’t want my father did that mean they didn’t want me? I didn’t have words for all my questions. It was years before I grasped the terrible irony that all too many worshipers of Jesus had been taught to hate, exclude and even kill relatives of that very same Jesus. 

As a five year old, what I did understand was that I loved my father and I wouldn’t go to a place where they didn’t like him.  I was very sad but I would be brave.

That happened in Baltimore during World War II. My book I am writing was conceived on that day, in the heart of a five year old.

11 thoughts on “Questions in a Child’s Heart

  1. Kerry Lockerman says:

    Looking forward to the continuation of your journey in future blogs.

  2. Kelli Shadwell says:

    Looking forward to more!

    • admin says:

      You are great Kelli. More is coming – having steep learning curve with mechanics of blog. Have you used wordpress?

  3. Kerry Lockerman says:

    Is there a second post?

    • admin says:

      Thank you so much for asking Kerry. The second post is waiting, but I’m experiencing a steep learning curve with setting up the blog and so haven’t done a second post yet. Hope to do that Friday.

    • Ann Temkin says:

      second post up

  4. Cynthia Hizer says:

    Love the story and beautiful blog! Congrats!

  5. Susan Trawick says:

    Children know injustice when they see it. I wonder if this is part of Jesus’s meaning when he says to “come as a little child” to Him.

    • Ann Temkin says:

      Yes. Children know all kinds of things when they see them, and they are very sensitive to injustice. We adults have been trained to be blind in many ways, and at the same time to persuaded that we see.

  6. David Rensberger says:

    Very belatedly coming to this post. Thank you for sharing your story! It reminds me of a story that is told about Groucho Marx. His own children were once refused admission to a pool because he was Jewish. “Well,” he’s supposed to have said, “they’re only half Jewish. How about if they only go in up to their navels?”

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