Except for our Friday “Pizza and a Movie Night” in the sun room in front of the TV, our dinners are eaten at the dining room table. Well, let’s be honest. Sometimes that table is covered in whatever project we have going on so we plan-B-it at the kitchen island, but the point is that we eat as a family.
At dinner tonight, the kids were exceptionally chatty, which I love, but my daughter hit me with a completely random question…
“Are we Christians?”
It took me a few blinks to answer because I’ve talked to her about my faith all her life.
“Yes, I am, absolutely. But I won’t speak for you. Are you?”
She’s 10 years old now, old enough to ask thoughtful questions and start forming her own opinions, but young enough to need my guidance and example. I was hopeful and terrified as she took a second to think about it.
“I believe in God. I was just wondering because there are so many kinds of people who believe in God, but they are all called something different.”
After a game of 20 questions, I learned that she has a friend who believes in God but won’t go to church. She has another who goes every Sunday, but only with one parent (the other stays home) and only to the Lutheran Church. And another who is Catholic but they are “out of practice” (nonpracticing).
After going over the different types of religions, how no one should be judged by what religion they are, that we believe in a merciful God who loves us no matter what, even when we feel unworthy, and that it doesn’t matter what anyone says, as long as you know in your heart that God is real and wants us to be happy, we got all of her questions answered and confusion straightened out.
My son listened to all of this, seemingly disinterested, but apparently hearing every word because he spoke up and said, “I don’t know what you’re worried about. God knows what you’re thinking, just tell Him your questions in your head so He can answer them.”
I was blown away that a six year old could simplify in one breath what philosophers and theologians have been complicating for centuries.
Then he capped it off with a giggle and said, “I bet God is the king of hide and seek. He could find you anywhere!”
He didn’t have to eat his vegetables tonight.