"I know why some people don't like God, mommy," my six year old says as we discuss life over Legos.
"Really? Why?" I ask, baffled at the change in a conversation that began about lunch.
"Because sometimes when they ask him for things, he doesn't give them to you ... I ask God for help finding my stuff sometimes and he never helps me find it. I think that's why some people don't like God."
What do you say to that? I mean, the kid's right. That is why some people don't like God. Or why they don't think he's real. Or why they think He's mean so never even bother with a mean God.
I ask my oldest son, who is searching my face for clues on where this conversation is going, "Have you ever heard of a genie in a bottle?"
"Yup ..." He says. "Well, sorta. Tell me again?"
"In stories and movies sometimes people find a bottle; they rub it and then a genie comes out and says 'master, I'll grant you three wishes,', I explain. "Sometimes I think we treat God like a genie in a bottle. We ask for something thinking we are the master and then get angry when God doesn't give us what we want."
He nods slowly, zooming Lego motorcycles around his legs.
"Sometimes I get angry and frustrated when I don't get what I'm asking for," I tell him.
"Like when the baby died," he says.
I pause, totally vulnerable.
"Yes, like when our baby died."
We linger in our thoughts, bathe in a moment of silence.
"Do you think God is like a genie in the bottle and we are the masters?" I ask.
"No!" He exclaims. Then he sighs. "God is the master ... God's way is always perfect."
I'm blown away.
My six year old is discussing theological questions with me and them applying his church memory verse appropriately in discussion and life application.
I agree with him.
"God's way is always perfect. We don't always understand it, but it is perfect."
I have so much I want to say
So much I want to know -- like, God, what do you want from me right now and where should we go from here and how should we get there?
I am much like my six year old looking for my toys and demanding God help me find them.
He sighs again, this time contentedly, at the same time I exhale deeply.
I've asked the questions; I have bared my heart to Him who sees me.
So I breathe and take my son's lead, sit with him in contented stillness for a few lingering moments -- wild thoughts abandoned--
and offer the words
to Him again even now in these moments where it feels like I'm asking Him to help me find what I'm looking for and He doesn't seem to be helping me find it at all.
My oldest continues the Lego race around my feet.
And I think maybe
He's not showing me where I put my toys because He's been showing me something much bigger;
Maybe ... He's been revealing His very heart for me instead.