The Author

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I am a high school English teacher, and mother of two charming little ones of my own. I teach in a high poverty urban charter school, while I live in a typical American suburb that has frequently been rated one of the safest cities in the country. It is a paradox I struggle with constantly, but it is my life.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Deep Things...

Have you ever tried to explain faith to a child? Vinny has been undergoing a rather interesting spiritual process lately. He asks questions about faith related issues on a daily basis. It has really stretched me in my faith and my concept of faith.

It is important to me (and always has been) that I not preach to my children, but let my children discover and decide for themselves, as faith is, by nature, personal. I recognize that, yes, their spiritual discovery process is influenced heavily by Christianity, as this is what we believe is truth, but I try to be careful in how it is presented to Vinny. It is information, and I present it as that. More importantly, I present it in chunks, as he asks for it. As he hears information at church or in life in general, and he asks questions, I answer them. I answer them as completely and honestly as I can, while being as simple as possible, considering that he is only five years old.

Well, last night, I had to clarify for Vinny a common Christian saying that "We nailed Jesus to the cross."  This did not make sense to Vinny, for good reason, as it is merely a symbolic saying, and five-year-olds don't really understand symbolism. In trying to explain the whole "he died for our sins" concept, I found myself thinking, "How can I possibly explain this in a way that will make sense?" As I thought about it some more, I realized, I can't. Because it doesn't make sense.

Messiah. Savior. LORD. What do these things mean? In explaining it to Vinny, I listened to myself and thought, "This doesn't really add up logically." But it doesn't seem to bother Vinny, who accepts my simple explanations and has boldly proclaimed, of his own accord, "I believe in Jesus," and "I love Jesus," and I truly believe he does. And suddenly, what does make a lot of sense is Matthew 19:14, where Jesus declares that the kingdom of heaven belongs to the little children. Because children do just accept what doesn't make logical sense.

It could bother me that my beliefs don't make a lot of logical sense... but it doesn't. Not at all. Because He is my LORD. In Hebrew, LORD meant God's personal name, which he told Moses was just "I am." And that is so true. God just IS. He IS who He IS. And if we could completely explain him or understand him, then, well, in the words of the character I played at church this past week, "Well, then He wouldn't be God, would He?"

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