The other day as I was getting Sean ready for church, I stood him up on a chair so that I could comb his hair.
“How many eyes does God have?” he asked.
“Well, um, let’s see,” I stammered, caught off guard. Like many people, the image I have in mind of God is somewhat like Santa Claus in pajamas.
“The Bible says that we are made in God’s image. Since we have two eyes it would stand to reason that he has two eyes. So that’s what I think. But I don’t really know for sure, no one has ever seen God.”
He twisted his mouth to one side as he considered this.
“Well then how does he see everything we’re doing?” he countered. “I think he has 42.”
“You could be right,” I said.
And then he jumped off the chair and showed me how he could hop backwards on one foot.
As I watched this funny little boy hopping, wobbling, falling over and starting again, I realized that I didn’t want him to just accept what I told him about God.
I don’t want him to simply inherit my faith on a silver platter. More than anything, I want him to have the heart of a seeker. I want him to wrestle with God. I want him to search for the truth, to be a critical thinker. I want him to challenge what the world will tell him about God. I want him to come to a decision about his creator on his knees, through his own reckoning, maybe through his own suffering and disappointment, as every generation must.
And in doing so, his faith may not look exactly like mine.
May God grant me the grace to accept that.