Age four has proved to be a difficult one for myself and Little One. Why ... How come ... but mom ... He is getting smarter. He is learning at a rate I am having difficulty keeping up with. He is a thinker, articulate, but mostly inquisitive. Today he asked me why we can't see God.
After seven years of biblical and theological training you would think I had a good answer to this question. After all, I knew something like it was coming ... this little one's mind is way beyond his years. So like any good Bible student I went into how God is a spirit. How God is everywhere. How God lives within our hearts when we believe in who He is and who His son is. Little One listened, but he wasn't buying it. So he asked me again, 'Why can't I see God mommy?'. At a loss for words I went for the honest approach ... 'I don't know. I don't understand God, Little One.'
All day his question and my answer have been eating at me, and when I looked at the calendar this evening I realized why. It is almost September 15 ...
For most of us 9/11 is a stormy cloud that hovers over this week. We remember where we were, what we were doing, who we were with, and how we felt when we heard the news. I am no different, however, there is a darker cloud hovering over my heart this week. Eleven years ago I lost my friend. I lost my mentor. I lost my voice of sanity during a difficult time. For eleven years I have sought a way to describe what I lost on that day; but today, Little One's question gave me words to describe it. I lost a picture and influence of God in my life. No my friend was not God, nor would he want to be thought of like that, but he reflected God's spirit at a time in my life when I desperately needed it.
It's ironic I think ... that at that precise moment in my life where God seemed the furthest ... that in the midst of doubting His goodness, His love, His mercy and justice, He would take away the one thing that kept me interested in it: my friend. Then I think about that more, and realize it's actually not that ironic. What better way to "see" God than to experience Him, but we can't experience Him when we think we see Him. Humanity clouds the perfect picture that He is ... like those mirrors you see at carnivals that distort your image. We are created in His image, but are not a perfect representation.
Tomorrow, if Little One asks again, I will tell him God is meant to be experienced not seen. God is meant to be encountered not touched. God is meant to be and co-exist within us. Perhaps I will come up with more age appropriate language for a four year old, but while I am chatting with him I will be thinking and missing my friend. I will be remembering his side hugs, shoulder squeezes, and how he used to call me ... little one. Most importantly, I will be remembering my experience of God because of his life, and even more so because of his death. SHBSY