My joy for today is the hope of heaven.
My four-year old has been asking many, many wonderful questions about the deeper issues of life lately. It has been very challenging, but also very edifying because it forces me to verbalize my faith in the most simple, true, genuine way I can possibly muster.
In the past few weeks, he seems to come up with a new topic every day. On the way home from a movie on a mommy-date, he announced, “I can’t see God.” I said I understood and explained that God was like the wind, we can’t see that either. He replied, “I can see the wind when it blows through the trees.” I explained, very proud of my mommy-self in this moment, that God is just like that; we can’t see Him with our eyes, but we can see what He does. He thought about that answer of brilliance, and then said, “I think it’s more like when Daddy and I play hide-and-seek and he has a really good spot. I can’t find him, but he’s still there!” True.
He also recently asked why some grown-ups don’t have any kids, and we have three. I explained that we are just very blessed and that he and his siblings are our precious gifts from God. He just laughed and said that was funny. So hard to explain; we are simply immensely blessed.
Then, one seemingly normal afternoon recently, we found a dead bird in the front yard. This bird was the impetus to a very deep, very long, and very meaningful and memorable conversation about heaven. There were so many details and questions about every aspect of the afterlife:
Is the bird in heaven? Sure.
But I can still see him. Well, he has a new body in heaven. This answer caused a great deal of sobbing and additional questions. Of course, this is a very hard concept for a four year old to grasp. We never really settled it, but I calmed him by saying that our new bodies would be just like our old bodies. A few days later, the bird was gone, and Noah was overjoyed that he had been taken to heaven. I have so much gratitude to whatever animal carried that bird away to help illustrate my point.
Do kids die? No, not usually. Usually we don’t die until we are very old. But sometimes kids do die and that is very sad. (More tears.)
Can we fly in heaven? YES! He has been incessantly “practicing” flying in the backyard for the past few days, without much success as you can imagine. He proceeded to ask many, many questions about whether things that he loves are in heaven. I basically just answered yes to anything he wanted to be in heaven. He was snuggling and clinging to me during this entire two hour conversation. He would start to loosen up his grasp on me and then he would think of something confusing and would crawl right back up on my lap. Such a sweet time with my sweet boy.
Our conversation included many prayers to Jesus and discussions about Christ living in our hearts, as well as in heaven. He prayed many times for specific people he knows to be in heaven with him. From the mouths of babes; yes Lord, please hear our prayers for all of our loved ones.
Finally, I thought to ask him about his favorite food. He answered quickly. Quiche. I told him you can eat quiche all day and candy and cookies. He said we would get sick if we ate all that. That’s one of the great things about heaven. No one is ever sick, or sad, and no one ever gets in trouble or sent to their rooms. Huge smiles.
Ok, I want to go to heaven. Ok, buddy. Me too. See you there.