Oh boy, the day has slipped by and I haven’t posted my obligatory blog post.
Let me share two recent encounters with two of my sons. I know these sorts of things are cutesy and all, but if you can get past the cutesiness and contemplate the gravity of the two questions, I’m open to comments and suggestions about how to handle these issues.
First, the other night my wife was reading to the boys from a book about who God is. God is bread. God is friend. God is king. And so forth. At some point when the book was talking about how God gave his son, one of my six-and-a-half-year-old twins stops her and asks, “Why does God make people die? She was the one who came up with the plan that people have to die.” Note first the deeply theological reflection on death here, as well as the implied question about God sacrificing God’s own son for our sake. Those are big things to wrestle with! Even for seasoned Christians. Second, notice how freely this little boy, whose favorite teases is to talk about how much he hates girls, so loosely speaks of God with the feminine pronoun. I have no desire to change the gendered references to God. However, I am at a loss as to how to answer his question about God and death and sacrifice. When he’s older I will point him to some readings on theodicy.
Second, the other day my nearly-four-year-old was talking with his mom about life as we all get older. He was trying to imagine what it would be like for him and his brothers to be adults. And he was trying to imagine his Mommy and Papa as grandparents when he said, “How can you be a grandma with that face you have on?” Good question.