Count Olaf is too grown up


“Violet tried to picture Count Olaf as a youngster, but couldn’t. His shiny eyes, bony hands, and shadowy smile all seemed to be things only adults possess.”

While reading through Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events with my son, Ben, we ran across this phrase. Why do you think Violet thought only adults have “shadowy smiles”? I asked Ben. His answer was profound and more wise than most would expect from a child: “Maybe because adults try to trick kids.”

What a sad but true comment. If only we had more pure smiles among those who grow older… then we would have more light-hearted smiles than shadowy ones.


Ken Castor

Ken Castor is a husband, dad, pastor, writer and teacher. He serves as a professor at Crown College, Minnesota, where he equips students to pursue Jesus-Centered Faith and Next Generation Ministry. For 20+ years he's focused on equipping the next generations in places like the U.S., Canada, and Northern Ireland. He's the author of Grow Down (Simply Youth Ministry, 2014), Make a Difference (Broadstreet, 2016), the Blue-Letters Editor of the Jesus-Centered Bible (Group, 2015) and numerous other articles and Bible Study guides. But, whenever possible, he gets down on the floor and builds Lego with his kids. Connect with him @kencastor.

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