A kindergartner contemplates God
- Mommy, how does God make your bones?
- How does God make a seed?
- How does God make a leaf?
- How does God make the sky?
- How did God make your mouth?
These are just some of the questions that my five-year-old daughter likes to throw at me . She’s at that stage when everything tickles her curiosity and fills her with wonder. I think it’s really cute sometimes. It means her mind is working.
I don’t have the right answer to most of her questions. I’m not all that smart. I can’t always say “Let’s go check it out in a book or the internet” because her favorite time to grill me is when I’m driving. She doesn’t want her answer later. It has to be right away. And “I don’t know” just won’t do. She just keeps saying “Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy” until I give her a satisfactory reply. I can’t understand why she has to do this just when I need to concentrate on what’s happening around me , like when I’m about to turn at an intersection , or when I’m about to change lanes at the freeway. I usually invent fantastic, often times stupid, stories in response to her queries. To explain how God made seeds, I said that “He picked up a dried leaf from the ground. He crumpled it up until it was really small, blew life into it and then….BAM! He had a seed.” Somehow, the more outlandish my story, the more acceptable it is for her. Or, maybe it’s the way I would always say “BAM!”, Emeril Lagasse style, that gives my story an air of credibility.
One day, an irate driver behind me honked her horn wildly and flashed me her middle finger. Changing lanes at 65 MPH while composing a tale for your child is not a very safe practice. From then on, I made sure that the radio was on, loud enough to drown out any attempt at conversation, whenever we were together in the car.
Her theological musings far from over, she casually asked me, while I was chopping up some onions, if Jesus died. Not knowing where the conversation was headed, I told her that he died, but he rose from the dead after three days. She paused for a few seconds to digest this bit of info. Follow-up question from her: Is he a zombie, mom?
My knife froze in midair. I turned to my son who was doing his homework on the dining table. “See what happens when you watch a movie like Resident Evil?”, I reprimanded him. I assured my daughter that her God is not a zombie. “But you said he rose from the dead, mom”, she went on.
Never, in my forty years of life on this earth, have I thought of juxtaposing my God, who is supposed to be gentle and loving, with a scary flesh-eating zombie! Crazy! I mentally shuffled the notecards in my head. How do I explain the intricacies of the christian faith to this girl? Zero. I had no answer to this one, not even a fantastic made-up story. So I went back to chopping up onions and pretended not to hear.