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Theological Conversations with a Seven Year Old

July 9, 2008

As I arrived home after teaching class last night, I was greeted by my son, who called me down to his room to “talk to me about something”.

Upon entering his room, he proceeds to tell me a convoluted tale about some markings that “appeared” on my 19 year old neighbor’s vehicle after a supposed visit to a “haunted” location. My son was thoroughly freaked out, having seen the evidence (some kind of cross and writing on the car), and was crying, because he was so upset and scared of the spooky tale. It apparently had something to do with the criminally insane, and murders, and hauntings, and the word Phantom. As the story was incoherent, I’m vague on the details. I tried to calm Jake down and suggested that knowing Andrew (our neighbor) it was far more likely that his car had been vandalized by a friend or enemy than that it had been the victim of the supernatural, and that even if said supernatural had occurred, that it didn’t happen at his house or our house, and that we were all safe and sound and snug as bugs in a rug. More tears and hanging on to me for dear life ensued after the light was turned out for bed, and I suggested that Jake say a prayer, maybe a Hail Mary, as I often do when I need comfort, and to remind me that God is with me, and that Jesus was very agreeable to listening to requests for comfort from his mom, etc. He seemed to calm down.

Not to be upstaged by her older brother, I entered my daughter’s room to say good night finding her propped up on her pillows, with her eyes closed, corpse style.

“You sleeping already?” I asked.

“Nah. I was praying cuz I’m scared of that story, too.”

“Oooooh. Were you praying to Mary, too? Jesus loved his mom, like you love me, right?”

“Yep, and he loved his father, too right? Cuz God’s up in the other heaven too, right?”

“What other heaven?”, I asked.

“You know…God made everything, and then he died and went up to heaven.”

“Well, God never really died. So, there is only one heaven.”

“Well…he did die, right? I mean Jesus died, right?”

“Well…yes. He did. He died, but then, he was resurrected and became divine again. Plus, you know, God is God, and Jesus is God, so, really Jesus is his own father….”

Totally furrowed brow and look of absolute confusion…

“Listen…there’s only one heaven, and God is with you, and you don’t need to be afraid of Andrew’s vandalized car. Just get some sleep, I love you, k?”

Nothing like the Trinity to make you feel like a totally inadequate parent and noncommunicator.

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8 Comments leave one →
  1. July 9, 2008 11:14 am

    I’m printing this out and placing it in my religious education book…it’s a classic, E. They’re small, not stupid…hehehe…best post in a long time!!!! (((((E)))))

  2. Julie+ permalink
    July 9, 2008 1:15 pm

    Got news for you…there’s nothing like the Trinity to make a priest’s head want to explode, and nothing like getting stuck preaching on Trinity Sunday to make one feel totally inept. If your kids were comforted, you did fine.

  3. July 9, 2008 1:34 pm

    Christianity. The belief that a cosmic Jewish Zombie who was his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a rib-woman was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree… yeah, makes perfect sense.

  4. episcopalifem permalink*
    July 9, 2008 2:16 pm

    Pisco..Hehehe. Yeah. All that.

    Julie – I’m glad I’m not alone in the pool.

    D. – Thanks! (((((D)))))

  5. July 9, 2008 9:30 pm

    That is really beautiful- wow, thanks Eileen

  6. July 10, 2008 5:18 pm

    This is why we love Mother Mary!

  7. July 10, 2008 9:12 pm

    LOL. You’re right Eileen. This totally cheered me up. 😀

  8. episcopalifem permalink*
    July 11, 2008 11:15 am

    Kay – heee hee! This is my favorite post I’ve written in a long while!

    Glad it cheered you up!

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