Sunday, January 23, 2005

Where did God come from?

Saturday, I tossed Anna Laura in the car and went to the library. Kyndall stayed home with a napping Alexandria. On the way to the library we listened to Zoe Girl a Christian band with a song called “I believe in God” blasting on the radio.

I am always surprised how much Anna Laura picks up when I think she is too young. Apparently she was listening to the words of the song when she asked me to turn it down so she could ask me a question.

She asked, “Where does God come from?”

Can you imagine such a profound question? It’s like in high school I had a lot of friends who were foreign exchange students. Again and again they would ask me meaning of words or customs I understood intuitively and had never tried to put into words that made sense.

Here was Anna Laura doing the same thing but on – oddly – a grander scale.

We took the next couple minutes talking about where everything other than God came from like the moon, Mommy and anything I could spot outside the window – her pat Sunday School response was always that God made everything.

I saw why she couldn’t figure out where God had come from. At least her logic gene seems pretty strong.

Anna Laura can count, and really high, but she doesn’t understand the concept of zero. You can ask her if she wants 5 cookies or zero cookies and it’s up for grabs on which she will pick. She just doesn’t understand that there is a number that actually represents an absence of value.

Because of this I knew my answer to her would not make much sense, but I also knew she would accept it from me with a childlike faith that her daddy understood the answer even if she didn’t. God didn’t come from anywhere; I told her, no one/nothing made God.

She moved on with a little smile to mask her confusion – but to just make sure she understood I asked her back, “Where did God come from, Anna Laura?” Her response, wrong but cute was, “Jesus.” I guess my explanation was not as clear as I thought.

Well, a 2 year old doesn’t really want to talk about the multiplicities allowed in a single godhead but I couldn’t just keep quiet on the anti-Trinitarian notion that God and Jesus were the same. So I asked Anna Laura what my name is – it’s cute she knows I am Jerry and occasionally will call me that if I am not paying enough attention to her.

Then I asked her if I am her daddy – which she affirmed. Then I asked her which I was – am I Jerry or am I daddy? Word games are not the distraction of choice for a toddler and I could see it was not going far but at least I planted the seed (following a little more explanation before we reached the library) that Jesus and God were not two people.

Being a parent charts some strange new worlds sometimes. It’s hard enough for me to understand some things – let alone explaining them, especially with words with fewer than two syllables, but I’ll keep doing the best I can.

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