“Where is God?”

June 25, 2013

June 25, 2013

It’s been Lucy’s plaintive question nearly every day recently. “Where IS God? Is He up in heaven?”

He’s everywhere, Lucy. He’s here with us now.

“But Mama, I don’t SEE anyone else here. ”

God is invisible, Lucy. He is so great, He isn’t limited to just one place–if He had a body, He would be. God can be everywhere at once.

I draw a breath, ready to launch into a discussion of the fourth dimension, and the fact that God is eternal.

“…I still don’t see Him,” says Lucy.

——————————

Where IS God? How do I answer that question for a three-year-old? How do I recognize Him?

Do I tell her about our friend Scott who was near death from a blood infection, but has recovered by what the doctors have called “a miracle”?

Do I explain how I felt God’s hand in all the particulars of my recent eye surgery, including the completely unprecedented short-term job I got this Spring which helped to pay for it?

All of this seems to be beyond her very literal young mind right now. I continue to tell her the Bible stories, and when all else fails, I point to the wind. You can’t see it, Lucy, but you can see what it does. That’s what God is like. 

“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”  John 3:8 ESV

Just as I can’t point out God in a crowd, so I can’t know how God may be crowding Lucy’s little heart. But I pray that one day soon, that spiritual birth will take place in her, and then Lucy will have eyes to see the ways of the Spirit in the world.

Until then, I aim to take more pains to notice every trembling leaf and swaying branch, so that I may point her to His works.

photo credit: Jonathan Worthington

photo credit: Jonathan Worthington

 

 

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8 responses to ““Where is God?”

  1. 🙂 It helps children to have visuals to understand things. A fun art project for the both of you could be: get a large piece of light colored construction paper, on one end place a medium sized X and on the other end another X, draw a line that from one to the other. Label the first X with ‘beginning’ and the other one with ‘end’… this is now the base of God’s timeline. In the middle of the line, draw a larger circle and make it look like the earth. You can add stars around it and such, but just make sure you leave room on the picture face for things Lucy wants to add. Now, draw a huge circle (probably oblong) around all of it, it can reach to the very edges of the paper, just make sure it is bold and has no gaps. The circle around it all of course, represents God. Now you can have Lucy add her own drawings inside the circle… herself, family, friends, animals, toys, etc… whatever she wants. As you explain to her that God ‘hugs’ everything inside that circle… He see’s it all and He cares about every little thing inside that circle. There is nothing outside the circle, because of the beginning and end timeline. You can hang her picture on the wall and anytime something good or bad happens, she can add another picture inside the circle to help her visualize that God cares about it, is in control and is hugging the situation, no matter what it is. Hope this all makes sense, LOL, it does in my head! 😀 Great post sister…

  2. I’m reminded of a quote from Thomas Jefferson:

    ” Religion. Your reason is now mature enough to examine this object. In the first place, divest yourself of all bias in favor of novelty & singularity of opinion. Indulge them in any other subject rather than that of religion. It is too important, and the consequences of error may be too serious. On the other hand, shake off all the fears & servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear. …

    Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it ends in a belief that there is no God, you will find incitements to virtue in the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise, and the love of others which it will procure you. If you find reason to believe there is a God, a consciousness that you are acting under his eye, & that he approves you, will be a vast additional incitement; if that there be a future state, the hope of a happy existence in that increases the appetite to deserve it; if that Jesus was also a God, you will be comforted by a belief of his aid and love. In fine, I repeat, you must lay aside all prejudice on both sides, and neither believe nor reject anything, because any other persons, or description of persons, have rejected or believed it. Your own reason is the only oracle given you by heaven, and you are answerable, not for the rightness, but uprightness of the decision.”
    Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Peter Carr

    I agree with Jefferson’s basic point: May Lucy’s mature reason objectively decide the issue of an alleged God’s existence, without succumbing to any temptation to believe, simply because others believe, or because psychological weakness leads her to “need” an invisible, omnipotent father figure for the rest of her life.

    • Although I would contend that we all need such a Father, whether we acknowledge it or not, I agree with you (and Jefferson) in spirit. Thanks for your thoughtful comment.

    • I like this post, very thought provoking. I am somewhat skeptical of Thomas Jefferson overall. He was a product of his own time. Sometimes, Enlightenment thinkers were too fond of their own abilities to reason.

      When does a person obtain “mature reason?” Some people seem to never grow up. I don’t have kids yet, but I always talk to small children as if they are mature. There is always some way to express what we mean to say, if only we will be dilligent to find the right words.

      • Thank you, Duck. I took from the Jefferson quote that each of us must decide what we believe independently, rather than just accepting someone else’s beliefs. “Let each be firmly convinced in his own mind.” I know “God doesn’t have grandchildren” isn’t in the Bible, but the principle is true. As for “mature reason”–well, “Faith of a child” is closer to the truth, isn’t it?

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