Just some early morning thoughts from me to you…
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1 (NIV)
“For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” I Corinthians 13: 12 (NIV)
We’ve all had those questions before. You know, the ones you can’t answer or don’t want to think about, so you try to deflect or dismiss them with a quick and easy answer. Maybe an answer that is just acceptable enough to deflect the question so the conversation can move on to something else.
But you can’t dismiss a grandchild’s question. Oh, I suppose you could, but you really shouldn’t—never, ever. And if the truth be told, the same applies to your child—it’s just that with a grandchild you’ve been given that second chance to try to get some things right.
A dear friend asked my thoughts on a question with spiritual threads and it reminded me of a question from our younger granddaughter Ellie a few years ago. Her question seemed to come from out of nowhere. We weren’t talking about anything related to what she asked. Occasionally she’d sing out a few “Alleluias” for no apparent reason—except to bring a warm smile to our faces and hearts.
We were just hanging out in the kitchen laughing and doing things you do when blessed with a visit by precious granddaughters. And then Ellie—then four-years-old—hung her haunting question in the air.
“Gran,” and then she paused for a moment to make sure she had my attention as she finished climbing onto the kitchen counter. I could tell from the inflection in her voice that something serious was on the way.
“Yes, sweetie.” I readied myself for what was coming.
“Gran—how was God born with nobody?”
Anybody? Please! She knows about the Baby Jesus, and Mary and Joseph. But this question was not about the birth of Baby Jesus, but about Jesus’ Daddy—God the Father. How was He born with nobody?
Brief outlines and catchy phrases related to the theories of Creation, Evolution and Big Bang danced through my head. I even thought for a moment of sharing my “Brick-Wall Theory” which God placed in my mind at age twelve, while I was still searching for Him, to prove that God is and has to be the real deal, always has been, and was here to create it all in the beginning. Simply stated—if you go out as far as you can into the universe, envision what you think to be the end, and then build a stone wall at that spot—what would be on the other side of the wall? That thought kept me up at night, until I remember—God. Has to be God—something so infinite and extravagant—that it is beyond explanation. Anyway, the stone-wall analysis helps me.
But there it was, hanging in the air: “Gran, how was God born with nobody?”
And my first response: “I don’t know, sweetie.”
“I don’t know” has become a staple for me as I have come to realize the truth of that and haven’t felt compelled to demonstrate my knowledge (or lack of, may be more appropriate) to a particular issue or subject.
And then with the benefit of a moment of reflection, I repeated:
“I don’t know sweetie.”
And then added: “That’s what’s so great about God—somehow He started everything and made all this in the world, and you and me, and Himself, and one day He’ll tell us how He did it. One day He can answer your question about how He was born with nobody.”
No deflection there, I hope. Just an honest admission of ignorance, coupled with belief in the supernatural work of God. Before we pretend to understand the ways of the God of the universe, the ways of the God Who created it all, maybe we should pause for a moment. Before we become frustrated with not knowing why things are the way they are, or happen as they do—maybe we need to remember that we’re working with a finite mind and trying to understand an infinite God. No contest.
Well, in the days that followed, Ellie and our elder granddaughter, Hannah, continued to amaze, bewilder and challenge us with the questions for us to ponder. And they have continued to this day. And there are still a few out there which their Daddy threw out when he was younger—still in need of an answer.
Maybe one day. Just not today. One day.
In the meantime, believe. In the beginning—God. One day we will know fully.
In His Name—Scott