We are at the farm.
“Mommy,” he says, “I have something to tell you.”
“What?” I reply, “And hold my hand before you get squashed by that tractor.”
“I know about God now.” I often get in trouble for not teaching my son well enough about the God of religion and conquest. He knows about kindness, love, the power of the universe, karma, the meaning of the magic in nature, helping, but balks at the gargoyles and medieval statuary bleeding sacred hearts on the ground. Once, he came upon a nativity scene–at Santa’s Village, of all places.
“MOMMY! LOOK!” he said with an urgency that stopped me in my tracks. “What?”
“Who is THAT?”
“It’s Jesus. Baby Jesus with his family.”
“It is NOT JESUS!” he said. He was angry. I felt like a negligent parent, who neglected teaching her then four-year old to even recognize the baby Jesus. Wasn’t it bad enough he confused his baseball, football, and basketball, shouting “touchdown” the rare time he saw a baseball game?
“Yes it is, that’s his mom.”
“THEY TURNED JESUS INTO A STATUE!” There would be no convincing him otherwise, and to some degree, he was right–the God of love is often pressed flat between the pages of books nobody bothers to read, especially his people.
But today, he has figured out about God.
“What do you know about God now?” I ask.
“Well, one time, I was thinking about God and I had to poop. I didn’t want to wipe myself. So I asked God if he could make it a hard poop, so I wouldn’t have to wipe,” the look of intense concentration and reflection on the importance of this detail cannot be mistaken. I follow along, with a face matching his in focus and intensity. I angle my head just a bit to show I am seriously listening.
“So” he continued. “That day, I had a hard poop. I didn’t wipe at all! And that’s how I know that God is real. And that he listens to us all the time and that he cares about us. And that he is my friend.”
Pretty good logic. We’re often reminded to ask God for our needs, no matter what they might be. Sometimes, our prayers are answered, and other times–for good reasons unbeknownst to us, the answer is no. At those times, we should remember not to hold it against Him. There’s something in the scope of universe being set in motion–we just have to wait.
Today, I heard Declan in the bathroom reciting his prayer out loud. Soon after, there was a shout of disappointment, “Oh! It didn’t WORK, I have to wipe!” I tried to explain that sometimes the Almighty has bigger fish to fry and loaves to bake. And that humans must be understanding.
“Fine!” he said. “If God’s busy, I’ll just go watch Scooby Doo. But I’m asking Santa for a kitty for Christmas.” I’m afraid we have a long, long road to enlightenment.