Tuesday, November 18, 2008

theology class

Before I begin this post, I must respond to the comments from my previous post. I know this is telling about my blogging experience, but I never know quite what to do with responses. If it were up to me, I would read a comment and then be instantly connected via telephone to the person who commented. I would then gush my profuse thanks and have a wonderful conversation that would be the highlight of my week. I would have great conversations with friends I talk to frequently like Lauren, catch up with old friends like Ella, Missy and Rebekah, and make wonderful new friendships with amazing people like Kerry from 'Colored with Memories'. Kerry, I don't know you, but I love you from reading your blog. I just moved to Texas 7 years ago and I am as passionate about it as you. And your 100th post has me cracking up...I can't even tell you all the things that I loved, but the picking up for the maid thing was the best if I had to choose my favorite right this second. Where or where in Texas do you live? Close to me? I hope so...and should I be writing all of this in your comments on your blog or in my comments in my blog? Or is this whole responding to you in my own post thing appropriate? I don't know...but as a fellow PCAer, I hope you will have grace and be friends with me either way :).

It has been a very interesting day for me, and I could write at least 3 posts on it...and I didn't even go to work. But the most important thing for me right now is to document the conversation I had with Lainey (my 5 yr. old) as I was putting her to bed tonight. It started out as our usual bedtime conversation does...all of a sudden when faced with going to sleep she remembers all the wrongs done to her throughout the day and must document them. While I can completely relate to this need, it is always extremely annoying to me since I am usually counting down the seconds to my FREE TIME (does that even really exist??? I keep hoping it does, but it keeps eluding me). Tonight it was the usual 'someone was not nice to me on the playground' story. I must admit that in the past I have often fallen back on the 'hit them back' mentality and told her to just tell the kid whatever they said to her back to them. At times, I am ashamed to admit, I have even suggested that she tell them her mommy 'said so' or to tell them that her mommy was calling their mommy. I mean, really, who could expect me to deal with bullies when my oldest is just 5?? they were being rude, why can't I just tell Lainey to tell them that her mommy said they were being rude???

However, tonight the story involved a student whose parents I had met and had a short conversation with this past weekend. This time, I decided to be merciful and told Lainey that it wasn't really all this kids fault that he/she was being mean...sure it was sinful for this person to be mean....just like it was sinful for Lainey to be mean to her friends and family...but it also had something to do with things out of this child's control. "Like what?" she wanted to know. Well, like bad stuff...not stuff the child did or the parents did but stuff that just sucks...stuff that is not good in this world whether or not you are a sinner...stuff that Satan is responsible for. Well one thing led to another and the next thing i knew she was asking me, "Does God love Satan?"

Before I continue I must tell you that my husband is the head of our family and head of all things theological in our family. One thing that I love about him is that he does not live or die by theology...he loves Jesus and what Jesus did for him end of story.... But for him, his love of what Jesus did means trying to understand it to the best of his ability. I agree with this way of thinking, but I am not as smart as he is so I tend to throw my hands up and want to say "I love Jesus....isn't that enough???". So when Lainey asked, "Does God love Satan?" my first reaction was 'hell, no' and then my second reaction was to just say 'no' and my third reaction was, 'how do you answer this question when a five yr. old asks it and am I even right in saying the answer is 'no'? At which point, I said, "let's ask daddy".

Well, I won't get into what the right or wrong answer is, but the point is that after we asked daddy, we went back to bed and I continued to be quizzed on my theology knowledge. Basically the questions were "does God care when we are sick? does God want Daniel to have autism? does God want Daniel to talk? Do you believe in Jesus? does Daddy? Does Daniel? how do we know Daniel does if he can't talk and tell us? So will I see you in the new heaven and the new world? What does 'believe' mean? Does God care when Fletch (our dog) has diarrhea?" And this is just a small sampling. It was enough to make me realize there is a need for a new type of class in today's seminaries....something called "Questions About God: From a 5 Year Old". It should be a required class of all Christians before they can procreate.

I found myself sharing the Gospel with my daughter. She has heard it all before (thanks be to God) from people other than her mom. But maybe it meant something more hearing it from me. After a day of getting the 99th report on Daniel in the mail and reading about how he really does have autism and is in desperate need of all the money the school district can throw at him (from the very people I expected to wage war with...good for my not having to go to war, but bad for the whole 'your son is so bad off we aren't going to fight you' deal), it was nice to talk about the Gospel. It was nice to say in a loud, clear voice, "Yes, Satan is bad and we sin and we get sick, but God is GOOD." "Yes, even though Daniel has autism, God is GOOD." "No, God did not make autism, but God made Daniel and God is good and he loves Daniel, so if Daniel has autism, it is GOOD even if we can't see how or why right now."

It was good for me to hear myself saying these things out loud. Because in convincing my daughter I convinced myself and I believed them. And when she asked me if I believed in Jesus, it was so easy to say, "well, of course" on a day when I might have otherwise be tempted to think, "what is God thinking??". And so I proved my own point to her...even in Lainey's seemingly silly questions, God is there. He is Sovereign and He is pouring out His love and mercy to His precious children in ways we don't expect.


Stephanie said...

What a great post. This is why I'm glad you have a blog - for posts like this.

Colored With Memories said...

hi amanda,
yes, it is hard knowing how to deal with comments. sometimes i try to respond back in my own comment box, but they may never look back. e-mail is a great option...why don't you email me and we can see if we do in fact know one another. or at least who we know in common! you can find me on facebook too.

coloredwithmemories @ gmail.com

it sounds like lainey has some great questions for ya! i love to refer mine to daddy also.

sorry to hear of the news on daniel. it must be hard to hear it with such finality. he seems to be young and i'm sure they will be able to do tremendous work with him!

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

Wow. And I have been struggling lately with "Is God magic" and I thought I had it rough. Man alive Lainey. Cut your mom some slack! She's tired!

Shep did go thru a stage where he was going up to perfect strangers and saying, "Do you know why the dinosaurs died? It's cause Adam and Eve sinned." Like a weird Flanders kid.

(for the record, fellow commenters, I am not ignoring the deep side of this post, I got to talk to Amanda in person at church yesterday! I'm not that shallow. Well, at least not publicly.)

da halls said...


Missy sent me. 80)

Your daughter sounds like a smart cookie. How precious the memories will be for her of her mama spending time answering questions when it was time for bed.

I am so thankful for the sweet time you had with your daughter and the truths you shared with yourself along with her.

I am praying for God's peace and comfort during the stormy times. I am praying that your son will get excellent care and help as you navigate through the world of autism.

Is this a new diagnosis? Do you have many resources available? Support?

Blessings to you.
Mary Beth

Missy @ It's Almost Naptime said...

gasp! look at your cute new blog look!!

missed you this morning!

Kim Dolibois said...

Wow! That is what I have to look forward to. I better start preparing now!