My E-man is 3. Being 3 brings lots of questions. Mostly: Why? Why? Why? ” Mama why do we have hair?” “Mama, why do tree’s have leaves?” “Why is that car red?” ” Why do you want me to not ask anymore questions right now?” His most recent question “Why do people have to die?”.
I think his interest in death was peaked when his sister told him of a dog we had before he was born. When asked where this dog was his sister said “well, he died.”. Then followed “Mommy, I’m gonna miss our dog when he dies.” Since then we have had several conversations. About why people get sick, heaven, and death.
Then he asked the big one: “Why do people have to die?”. I knew the “church” answer or the “some people get sick or really hurt” but how do I compact it into something that a 3 year old would comprehend…and then to not be afraid of getting sick and death after that conversation. How can one innocent question from a child send an adult into panic mode?!
Honestly I don’t even remember exactly what I said. (After the panic wore off I sent a quick S.O.S. up to God). At some point I added something about how “we only live on earth for a little while and then we get to go live with God forever”. We talked a little bit about heaven. The typical no more tears, owies, or being sick. It seemed to be the answer he was looking for. He was quiet for a moment. Then, with the biggest smile and most excited voice he says:
“OH! Heaven is where we go to live for real!”
Oh Lord, how many times you use my sweet littles to teach me! This sweet innocent response hit me hard. So much truth in such a simple response. God doesn’t always use big sermons, big moments, or big booming voice to teach us something profound. Sometimes God uses the little boy sitting in his car seat, during an ordinary moment, and a simple question.
What else could I say but “Yes, sweet boy, heaven IS where we go to live for real!”
“At the end of all things, the blessed will say, ‘We never lived anywhere but in heaven.”-C.S. Lewis