Child Theology

I’ve admitted freely to friends that I often struggle with potlucks and large group gatherings without structure; I believe it comes from growing up primarily as an only child.  When there are more people and conversations than I can keep track of, I find myself shifting to a content wall flower with a book or knitting to keep my hands occupied as I listen in on the conversations around me.   So at a coffee gathering this morning, I learned details about infant sleeping patterns, online dating, good books to read, and when you should move for love.  It was peaceful and a great way to a late morning.

However the highlight of the time was a one-on-one conversation with a young boy named Thomas.

I noticed Thomas was sitting away from the group a bit with a Bible so I quickly grabbed my phone, knowing this would be an adorable picture for his mother.  By the time I had phone / camera in hand, he had shifted from “reading” to poking the pages so instead of a photo session it was time to protect the pages.  I sat beside him as he explained that he had read the whole book…Now, let me step back for just a second and explain that Thomas is three-years-old.  Okay…I asked what he had read, which led to about two minutes of searching forward and backwards through the book, to find that one page and section which had apparently stood out the most.  Finally we landed in the book of Jude (he had said all along that it was near the end).  When asked what it said, the response was simple and confident, “God is so good.”  Well, I couldn’t argue with that.  A few pages away, another section read, ” God is so great.”

Then the reading went back to sorting forwards and backwards through the pages until we landed around Leviticus (a section which few grown ups read).  This time the summary was different, “God made everything.”  I confirmed with Thomas that he meant everything everything, and was given the affirmative.  Jumping forward a few hundred pages, the Bible again said, “God made everything.”  This time, I had to ask what everything meant by asking if that included animals, people, and trees.  Yes, yes, and yes.  When I suggested we should write God a thank you note for creating us, Thomas responded we couldn’t because God was up in Heaven.  I shared my disappointed and asked if there was any way to thank him.  After thinking for a moment, he shared “Thank you God.”  We talked for another few minutes, including confirmation that the God was was listening all the time, even if we can’t hear Him talk back, and the Bible said “God created you and me”.

Who knows where this conversation might have gone if suddenly Thomas’ finger had not touched the glass beside us and “boinked” back near my nose.  Theology is nice, but a glass cabinet that makes fingers boink and fly is just miraculous.

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