Kids question, too.
Last night when I was putting one of my people to bed she said, “Mom, are you afraid of death?” and then she jumped right into, “How do we know, I mean really know, there is the one, true, God.”
I know these answers like the back of my hand. I have spent the better part of four decades asking them myself. Seeking the answers my heart longs for in Scripture and nature, through prayer, in the lives and writings of many who have gone before me.
My knee jerk, mothering reaction is to step in- fill the space as quickly as possible. But this is her relationship with God, these are her questions. I am reminded of Jesus’ parables, “they’re like truth burritos,” one child told me. The truth of God and the Kingdom wrapped in a story that opens when we seek it out; we have to want it. Questions can be the doorway.
Questions, even from children, come from longing and can lead to seeking and finding. Jiffy quick answers shut down longing. I don’t want that. I want her to hunger and thirst for the truth. The Spirit who loves her so much, prompts me, “Listen to her. Show her how to look for me. I will give her the answers.”
So I make a space for her to think about her questions…
1. Tell me about a time when you have felt God near. (She tells about being afraid and the comfort she felt after asking God for help.)
2. Tell me about a time when you saw something so beautiful you had to stop and look at it. (She tells about watching horses run through a field playing together.)
3. Tell me about a time when someone was so kind you couldn’t believe it. (She tells about her Grandfather teaching her to drive the tractor. Which was news to me! Grandparents!)
Then I gave her a few pointers… ways to connect.
We talk about reading the stories of Jesus and listening for God to speak. I encourage her to ask God about death. We agree to both ask and see what he has to say about it.
After an hour of laying in bed with her and listening, I realize this will be an ongoing conversation we have. The Blessed Trinity, her and myself listening, questioning and learning together.
What a wisdom! As I tried on some of those questions, I felt my faith shudder, shake, then grow a bit too.
Great thoughts! As a teacher I believe one of the best things we can teach children is to ask the questions and then to think. Nothing much is gained by our “jiffy quick” answers. When they however research, seek out, investigate & listen they then own it for themselves! Beautiful reminder.