My Beautiful Struggle + [story]

Toddler Theology II

On the way home from church, Miss M and I engaged in some deep conversation about God, putting my creative thinking skills to the test. Though I deal with her version of reality day in and day out, I sometimes forget just how outside of common concepts God tends to be. A few excerpts:

Are the other kids staying at church? No, they're going home. They don't live at the church just like we don't live there.

Who lives at the church? Well, no one.

Does God live at the church? God lives everywhere. He's wherever you're looking for him. (Secretly gave myself a high five. Until the rest of the conversation ensued.)

Where does He go with us? Well, wherever you need him to go. You know how you always want someone to go with you upstairs when you forget something because you don't want to go alone? Well, God goes with you.

God goes upstairs? Yes. And He's downstairs. He's wherever you need him.

Is God nice or mean? God is Good - always good.

How is He good? He's always with us.

How big are God's arms? Well, He can hold the whole world.

How big is that? Well,what's someplace very, very far away? Jack & Raya's house is far away. We're in the car for a long, long time. Well, God can touch our house and Jack & Raya's house at the same time.

Why would God want to touch Jack and Raya's house. **Insert sound of my head hitting the steering wheel

Who is God's papa? (New approach) Who IS God's papa?

Well, who is God's grandma? (Not giving up on the new approach) Who IS God's grandma?

Who is... Look at that! We're home already! That was a quick trip, eh?

These conversations humble me. I (we) have been entrusted to share with these precious hearts such imperative truths about the God we serve - that he is always present, always good and always available. The questions are hard, but I believe with everything I have that if I can get my kids to understand and remember those things, I'll be steering them in the right direction.

When I'm forced to break down an understanding of such huge ideas for such little minds, I remember just how much I don't know, how much I don't need to know, and how much I want to know more. I return to my roots of belief - God is good, God is present, God is available to me, yes even me. The big debatables seem so puny in comparison.

As she asked about God's grandma and papa, the thought came to mind that numerous mythical gods came to earth via virgin birth and it's easy to wonder, "Who could believe such a thing?" And then I try for one second to imagine my life without God's presence, His goodness, his movement in my life. And I can't do it - who would want such a thing?

I'll take the questions. I'll take the debates. I'll even spot the naysayers a few points that sometimes it doesn't make sense. But God's presence in my life, His goodness, his activity within me - it is. It just is.