Where is God's house?... Why?
Can I go to God's house?... Why?
What does God look like?... Why?
Does God poot?... Why?
Does God poop?... Why?
Is God a boy or a girl?...
I remember being a little girl seeing stuff on the news about space missions and all the NASA hoopla and thinking it was such a waste of time and money when so many people were sick and poor and dying all over the world. What business did we have in outer space and why couldn't all those millions of dollars be used to help people? I remember asking my Daddy why God made people so smart?
"He didn't make people too smart honey," he said; "He didn't make them smart enough."
That was the wisest thing I think my Dad ever said. --Of course, I have since come to realize that compassion and intellect are entirely different things, but I digress.
So the God questions = not easy.
As much as I have tried at times, I have come to decide that I'm just not cut out to be a religious nor pious person. And I have tried. I have studied the Bible; read and studied the Qu'ran and much of the Hadiths; read about Judaism and Hinduism, am intrigued with the philosophy of Buddhism; have prayed in churches, synagogues, and mosques; and yes, have had my share of religious and even 'other-worldly' experiences; and passionately love religious history... and still I believe that there is more than one way to God and that ultimately the life journey for each of us includes finding what works for us, inside.
That being said, my hope for my inquisitive young son is that his genuine, compassionate nature and mind open with wonder be preserved and that he grows into a genuine, compassionate man with a mind open with wonder... a heaping helping of wisdom would be good too.
These recent God questions have caused me to start thinking about how to answer them. And I'm certain that God's gender is the least of my challenges to come, but to that, I simply replied that 'God is everything.' And miracle of all miracles, for once, that was enough. (Wow, I thought, I did good.)
Monday, here in the great state of North Carolina, the weather was calling for more winter magic and as is the proper southern protocol, everything shuts down, schools release, and everyone makes a recklessly mad dash for provisions to hold them over 'til spring.
I arrive at Liam's new school to fetch him and decide to take a spontaneous detour to explore Raleigh's new Euro-village and treat ourselves to some scrumptiousness that is Henry's Gelato.
First we check out an adorable little bakery and pie shop (could there be anything better?!) where the lady behind the counter presents Liam with a lollipop and tells him she has a nephew his age.
"Is your nephew a boy or a girl?" he asks.
"He's a boy," she replies laughingly.
"God is everything," he quickly responds. (Ahh, so he does listen!)
Next, we check out the little fresh market (bizarrely with biblical passages written on the floor) which much to my delight hosts shelves of German products and candies in addition to the displays of fresh meats, seafood, and OMG heavenly gourmet goodies. Seeing this as a fine excuse not to stop at the madhouse that is the grocery store, I grab a basket for a few "necessities" (cabbage, spinach, lentils, Scharfer Senf, Kindershocolade, marzipan, etc.) and accidentally purchase a freakin' $18.00 meatloaf (holy shit)... As we make our way through the store, Liam spies a beautiful "older woman" of about 5 or 6 years of age pushing a small cart - their eyes meet - and each time we pass, they exchange lingering glances.
At the register, I am speaking with the lady ringing me up and turn to find my young prince behind me shaking hands with the little girl and introducing himself. They begin chatting like long-lost college pals and though I couldn't hear the dialog there were lots of gestures, smiles, and nods going on. For all I know he was inviting her out for coffee and though it didn't occur to him to get her phone number, he excitedly tells me once we got outside that her name was Patience. =)
Next door to the ice cream store is a new South American wine bar... so I had to poke my head in there. I immediately meet a young sweet fellow with Downs Syndrome holding his favorite stuffed monkey. Liam begins talking with him about his monkey while the owner tells me about Argentinian wine. As we leave, Liam shakes the young man's hand. I could not have been more proud!
So we finally arrive at our intended destination for treats. Liam makes his selection, the lady dished up our gelato and I pay... and turn to find my son at the far end of the store in the process of pulling up a chair amid a threesome of young twenty-something hotties and talking about the weather. Really?!!
Only the promise of ice cream could drag him away.
"Those pretty girls are nice Mommie," he says.
We have our treats and talk about school. Afterward, we go to the restroom to get cleaned up; Liam darts out while I am drying my hands. A moment later, I walk out catching Liam giving a round of hugs to the "pretty, nice girls" which they enthusiastically reciprocated with lots of "awww"s and "how sweet!" and "he's so cute!"
O.M.G. I mean, wow. --I think I may have to take him down a notch or two before he reaches his teens!
...Oh and the $18.00 meatloaf? It was outta this world yummy!
"Of all the needs (there are none imaginary) a lonely child has, the one that must be satisfied, if there is going to be hope and a hope of wholeness, is the unshaken need for an unshakable God."