“Mom, is god real?”
I was just settling in under the covers with Dixon. Delaney was cuddling Sneezie, our new kitty, who we just got yesterday. I don’t know what made her think of it. Perhaps touching the cat. Perhaps the imminent arrival of Christmas.
But tonight, it came out of the blue. And it came from Delaney, as most of the deeper questions do.
“Whoa, that’s an interesting question,” I said, turning over to face her. “What do you think?”
“I’m not sure what to think. I don’t like the way Christians look at god.”
“And how’s that?”
“Well…” Delaney began.
“That he was the son of Jesus,” Dixon interjected.
“No, they think Jesus was the son of god,” I said.
“Yeah,” said Delaney. “That’s just wrong.”
This came from a discussion we had the other day in the car. I told them that Christians see Jesus as the son of god. They think that’s completely ridiculous. We talked about how Jews see him as a remarkable man who lived 2000 years ago. They liked that better. I found that interesting and odd, since their sense of Judaism is almost all cultural. They don’t go to Sunday school.
“Well,” I said, “there are different ways to look at god. Some people think that god is a force that is within us.”
“No,” said Delaney. “I don’t think god is in us at all.”
“Some people think that god is a force way, way out in the cosmos, galaxies and universes away, that got the ball rolling, and then let it go to become what everything has become.”
“Like a snowball,” said my eight days shy of her 8th birthday child.
“Yeah. Like a snowball.”
“Let’s take a vote,” said Delaney. “Raise your hand if you think god is way, way, out there.”
She raised both hands, explaining that one vote was for Sneezie. Dixon didn’t raise any.
“But,” I said, “in the first three movies of Star Wars, every time someone goes off to fight, they say, ‘May the force be with you.’ And the more the fighters let go, and stop trying to control things, the more the force is with them. This brings out the idea that god is perhaps a force that’s within us that we have to try to access, to bring out.”
“I still think god is way way out there.”
“That’s totally OK for you to think.”
We turned over and listened to the music. Dixon didn’t participate much, and I was just about to ask her what she thought when Delaney asked:
“Mom, why isn’t it OK to point with your middle finger?”�