My family was not religious in any sense of the word but we were brought up to believe in God. Though I was not and still am (embarrassingly) not all that familiar with the stories in the Bible.
My husband grew up very differently than I did. He is Catholic. He was an Alter boy. He went to church with his family regularly.
Now as parents, as a family, we don’t go to church. I have nothing against the church. I think it is a wonderful place for people to find comfort, meet others, build a community but we're simply not church going people. We believe in God. We are very spiritual in our beliefs. I pray every night before I go to bed. It’s not a hand steepled on my knees prayer but as I lay in bed at night I send my prayers out there into the big, wide universe, to Him. I pray for my family, my friends. All of my precious loved ones. Sometimes it’s a general prayer. Sometimes it’s more specific. But that is what I do. I thank Him for all my blessings. I have many.
Late last year I bought a children’s bible for my eldest son. I read a couple of chapters to him over the course of a couple of nights and he seemed to really enjoy it. I did too. I loved that we were both learning about something together. And then the story of Cain and Abel came along and I shut the book quickly on that. Being that he’s a brother to a brother and all. I knew there’d be too many questions from my 3 year old that I wasn’t ready to answer.
It’s been a while since I re-opened up that chapter of the book so to speak but some things stick in child of mine’s mind for months…years even….making random appearances now and again.
Like this evening for example. Finley had gone to bed and Adrian felt like a snack. As I stood in the kitchen smearing honey and peanut butter on soft, thick whole wheat bread under softened light, Adrian and I had the following conversation…
“Mummy, who made the Earth again?”
I brought over his sandwich, placed it in front of him and sat down adjacent to him.
“Why did God make the Earth?”
Wooooo. This was a good question. Did they even cover the ‘why’ in the Bible? Since I was so (shamefully) unfamiliar with the Bible I crossed my fingers that I was getting it right at least a little bit and answered as best as I could.
“He made the Earth for us. So that we could know love, have relationships. Learn.”
“Does God look like an old man?”
“Well. God looks like whoever we want him to look like. Do you think he looks like an old man?”
“I think that he looks like an old elf.”
“If you think he looks like an old elf, then that’s what he looks like to you.”
Thankfully, mercifully satisfied with my answers he began to eat his delicious peanut butter and honey sandwich.