Friday, March 24, 2006

The Inquisition

I have just come back from picking my son up from school.
I pull up, being the independant 6 year old that he is I just pull up in the car these days, not really allowed to go into the school unless there is a reason. (embarassing him isn't considered by him, a good enough reason)

So, he gets in the car.

Start with small talk, "how was school?" , "Good." Then Baaammmm out of left field I get.

"Mum, how does God talk to us? When we pray how does God talk?"
"Well.... (thinking, this is a question that get's theologians arguing and you want me to explain it in a way you understand!!) ... you know when your heart feels good, that's when God is talking."

"How do we hear him?
How do we know he's talking?"
"Well, sometimes we hear him talk in our heads, when the voices tell us what's right and wrong..." (great I'm encouraging my son to hear voices now!!)
"But I don't hear anything in my head." (phew, that was close, no voices)

"Where is God anyway? Does he live in the earth? Does he live in everything?"
"No, he lives in our hearts and our heads (back to encouraging voices), and he is all around us, with us, watching over us and he is in heaven."

"So why can't I see him if he's around us?"
I resort to the air analogy.
"There's air all around us right?"
"Well, where is it?"
"Up there" he says pointing to the sky.
"No, not the sky, air you breathe? Here what about this?" I say turning up the aircon.
"I can feel that, I can't feel God,"
"Well what about love, You can't see love, how do you know I love you?"
"You tell me you love me."

(We pull up to our house, it's only a 5 minute drive! I'm exhausted!!)

"How do I know God is there, how does he talk to me? "
"He uses the bible to talk to us. Would you like to read the bible more to see what he is saying?"

He gets out of the car, for him the conversation is finished, meanwhile I'm an exhausted heap in the car, feeling like my head has just been squished into a shape it has never experienced before.

If you have any words of wisdom to help me on this journey and to prepare me for the next inquisition I would love to hear them.


PS. Yesterday LB, our 3 year old, asked, "Who is God?" So I stared with "someone that loves you very much and....." To which I got "No mum, he's Jeeshush"


Songbird said...

I think it's very much like talking to children about sex or death. You trust your intuition and pay attention to their cues. It sounds like you did beautifully.

Caroline said...

Sounds to me like you did a really great job! :)

Sally said...

I agree with Songbird on this one, my children often asked questions like this when we were in the supermarket or on a car journey, my answers were much like yours and I was always left wondering what I might have left out...
Sometimes when faced with tough questions we have to talk about our own experience thats what you did with the voices...well done..
To encourage you one of my tribe said the other day the reason she is still in church is because we allowed her to develop her own faith and were never too perscriptive with answers...