Tuesday, May 25, 2010

I'm Not a Professor of Philosophy

He's a thinker, this one. He's intense, it's inherited. And for every moment that I cringe from the scars I know his intensity will bring, there are more than enough moments of amazement at his mind and delight in the already piercing gaze of his soul.

Skipping rocks far out into the lapping ocean, he squints at me in the afternoon sun. "Mom, it's hard to trust God sometimes." Really? He's five. What can be hard to trust God about when you're five? And then, as I watch his mind whir with the explanation of how this is so, he leaps ahead before coming back to this statement. "Why did God make it so that we disobey so much?"

Good question. Haven't we all been asking it for centuries, since the beginning really? "Where does evil come from? Did God make it? Why would a good God allow bad things (like sin) to happen to his good creation?" Yeah, it's a good question, son. How do I explain this to a five year old, who really wants to know?

Well, God didn't want to make us like the rocks here, and the seaweed, the plants and the animals. The rocks can't love each other, right? The flowers and trees aren't friends, right? Animals don't know each other the way we know our moms and dads and brothers and sisters, do they? God wanted us to be able to love each other and to love him and to know his love for us. But in order to do that, we had to be able to choose to love or not...

I love how a question as deep as the dawn of time can be tossed aside by a five year old like a discarded pebble. "Hey MOM! Look at THIS one!" he calls to me as I stop, climactic sentence to one of the great questions of mankind hanging midair...

Yet, I know he hangs on to these words. He gathers them and stores them in those few moments of intense, blue eyes locking on mine. I know this because he repeats them to me weeks, even months later, and nearly word for word. So, I feel the pressure to use my words carefully. I feel the pressure to do research. Maybe to become an apologist or a theologian merely to keep up with his queries.

In the end, I pray. There are people who pray for their children from the moment of inception and spend hours by cradle sides perhaps late at night or in the early morning hours. I am just a young mother who has only begun learning what it means to bend the knee, and that in more than one way. So these hours of prayer have come slowly and the increasing weight of my work has only gradually begun to push me down to my rightful place. A low, intense place. A place where mothers can become like their question-asking, trust-struggling child.

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