As I huffed and puffed and got my workout in this morning, my daughter watched me patiently and said with a hopeful look in her big, beautiful eyes: ‘I wish I could have waffles for breakfast.’
And since I’m the Good Fairy, I thought about whether I could make this happen or not. I don’t remember the last time I saw my waffle maker. I wonder if I still have one. Did I ever really have one?? If so, it must be hidden at the back of one of those kitchen cabinets. So we reached a compromise and agreed that I could make pancakes instead.
We mixed the batter together and then I stood in front of the stove, flipping one pancake after the other, while she sat at the counter, munching on the first one.
Out of the blue, she said with puzzlement in her voice: ‘I don’t get it. Why don’t animals read the Bible?’
I hesitated for a moment, and looked over my shoulder at her, wanting to make sure I heard her correctly. Then I started cracking up! (Have human beings finished reading the Bible for animals to now come and start reading?) I must have laughed for a good minute right from my belly. She stared back at me with an earnest look in those big, beautiful eyes, and so I fought to regain my composure.
‘How do you know animals don’t read the Bible?’ I asked, stifling a giggle.
‘I just noticed,’ she replied.
‘Have you noticed animals don’t read, period?’
She thought about it for a second. ‘Yeah …’
‘Why do you think they should read, though?’ I asked, wondering what all this was about.
‘Well, if they don’t read the Bible, how are they supposed to know how to get to Heaven?’
Good point! I thought to myself.
‘I don’t think animals need to worry about that,’ I said, flipping another pancake over.
She thought about this for a moment. As I type this, I now wonder if she was worried about her dead gold fish. Most likely. She did mention yesterday that during Science class, the teacher showed them the heart of a dead fish, and this made her remember Dory and Sam (http://remembering-my-journey.blogspot.com/2012/08/the-gift.html).
‘I was just wondering,’ she said, ‘If God created Heaven for us and the animals, who did He create hell for?’
Hmm! This was getting ‘deep’ now.
‘Who told you God created Heaven for us and the animals?’ I asked, wondering if this was a new Sunday School theme in her class.
‘No one. I just guessed.’
‘Well,’ I began carefully, ‘Who did God create hell for? Certainly not for the animals, who aren’t capable of making a decision about whether they want God in their lives or not.’ I was dissatisfied with my own weak answer, but didn’t feel like I needed to break things down any further.
She thought about this for a moment.
‘If God created Heaven for us and the animals, why did He create hell for us and not the animals, too?’
I paused for a moment and wondered: Should I go into the intricacies of Christine doctrine – the fall of man, redemption through Christ, salvation by grace through faith, free will, etc.?
As I type this, I’m cracking my brain, trying to remember what response I gave her that she found satisfactory. I honestly can’t recall right now. Whatever it was, let’s just say I was #stumped, people!
If you have any age-appropriate answers for a kindergartner, puh-LEEZE share.
Maybe I missed an opportunity to teach my daughter some deep stuff – I don’t know. I’m sure there’ll be many more opportunities, by God’s grace. Our conversation this morning reinforced certain lessons and reflection points for me, though:
- God cares about the animals. Last month, this occurred to me when I read something in Jonah 4:11, where God said: ‘But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?’
- If God cares about the animals, then He sure cares about me. Nuff said.
- I need to be more conscious of Heaven … and of hell.
- Critical-thinking skills rock. My daughter’s critical-thinking skills displayed this morning made me marvel and made me proud. I think God is proud when we think critically, too. God’s decision to create human beings (and not robots) was a deliberate one. And He has all the answers we need.
- If I consider myself a Christian, I really do need to read the Bible to get information on how to live.
- I have not read my Bible today. I’ve worked out, made breakfast, had breakfast, taken a shower, talked to my children, checked and responded to email, and blogged this morning. No Bible-reading yet. I’ll get to it, Lord, I promise – right after I post this.
In conclusion, have I ever mentioned my daughter is a little chatterbox?
She chattered to herself all the while as I typed this up. As I finished up this post, her voice rang out at me with her millionth question of the morning:
‘Mommy? How come your eyebrows never get tangled?’
(She had just finished doing her hair. She also has had some sort of weird eyebrow fetish since she was a toddler. She strokes one eyebrow when she’s about to fall asleep.)
How will the answer to this question enhance your life? I wondered internally.
At least I had an immediate answer for this question. Out loud, I said: ‘Because our eyebrows are much thinner than the hair on our heads, so our eyebrows can’t really get tangled.’
She thought about this for a moment, and then replied, satisfied: