We were heading out the door for a Good Friday dinner with a church family, and Ms Action wouldn’t stop asking questions.
“Who’s birthday is it?” (If we are going to a “party” it must be someone’s birthday right?)
“It’s not anyone’s birthday. Today is Good Friday, the day when Christian’s believe that Jesus died.”
“Jesus died on the cross?” (Must be info from Sunday school, because I don’t remember talking about this with her.)
“Yes, Jesus died on a cross.”
“Why did Jesus die?”
“Jesus died because some people didn’t like what he taught, so they killed him for something he didn’t do.”
“On a cross?”
“Yes. It was a long time ago, people don’t die on crosses anymore.”
While we were heading to the car, she stopped and drew on the deck with a piece of chalk.
“Look Mom! It’s the cross where Jesus died! We have to tell everyone that Jesus died on the cross.”
On Sunday, she was asking questions again.
“What is Easter Mom?”
“Easter is the day Christians believe that Jesus rose from the dead.” (Why does it sound so weird, like I’m telling her that Sleeping Beauty is real?)
“Why did Jesus rose from the dead?”
“Jesus is alive again, because he conquered death, for everyone. So that when people die they can go to be with him.”
My daughter is already asking so many questions about faith, and sometimes it makes me nervous. I don’t initiate talks about God, but I don’t want to shut down her questions and curiosity. How do I answer honestly about something that I’m not even sure I believe in some days? How do I teach about religion and faith without the old tapes of fear and condemnation?
I’m not afraid of God anymore. I’m not obsessed with my sins or freaking out about my eternal destiny. I don’t feel all warm and fuzzy when I pray, I know that most prayers aren’t answered, and I’m OK with that. I think that the Bible is a bunch of humans attempting to explain their belief in God in their context and time. I don’t think that it should be taken literally word for word and used to attack others. I go to church, and I continue to plan on taking my kids to church because I am not a god unto myself and I refuse to isolate them from religion just because I don’t like it all that much. I don’t dress a certain way, eat a certain way, or avoid certain books movies or people because of religion. I don’t have a whole lot of religious “experiences” that convince me of the reality of a God, or make me feel loved by him.
I’m one of those Christians that some people (including myself in past days) would point out as someone who “doesn’t have a personal relationship with Christ”.
The old me would say that I am trying to make it to heaven on my own, in reality I’m not sure if there is a literal heaven, and I don’t really care if I go there. The old me would say that I am closing my ears and my heart to the truth, in reality I’m not sure there is a definite truth. The old me would doubt my salvation and say that I am headed for selfishness and unhappiness, in reality I have never understood my value as a person more, never loved my spouse more, never been able to love my children this much, and never been this happy.