Monday, September 12, 2005

Theological Questions of a Five-Year-Old

This morning as we were driving to daycare, I asked my 5-year-old what she wanted to tell God she was grateful for today.  She didn’t answer, but my question unleashed a whole bunch of questions from her: How can God hear everyone praying if he’s in the sky? If God loves us why does he give us bad lives? (Note to self to pay attention to possible negative vibes I’m giving off). How do you know if God is talking to you? How do you know if he’s saying Yes? (Ah, now I still wrestle with discernment.) Why did God want to make us?

So I bumbled through responses, mostly saying that she was asking really great questions, that people are still asking these questions, and so on.  She didn’t seem to be bothered that I didn’t have very good answers, because she suddenly piped up, “I want to talk more in the car!”  Conversation is usually rather difficult, because usually our 3-year-old is there as well, demanding to be included, which means we’re usually trying to talk over the repetitive chant of “Mommy! Mommy! Mooommmmyyy!” (I should mention that the 3-year-old has some serious language delays, so even most two-word sentences are beyond her at the moment).

So this morning was rather delightful, despite the fact that we got to daycare too late for her to have breakfast (which she didn’t like anyway—Rice Crispies) before hopping on the daycare bus to school.  I felt like one of those Mothers You Read About who sends her kid to school without breakfast, so he can’t concentrate and has to stay back a grade.  I hope she eats lunch.


  1. My daughter the next C.S. Lewis. I remember asking the same questions when I was her age. I always felt this special feeling around me when I prayed at night and thought about questions. My family wasn't really religious so I had a difficult time getting answers. Rules for the car and answering questions:

    1. Take oreo cookies in the car - they will keep a 3 year quiet.

    2. When your 5 year old ask theologian questions just say, "Ask your daddy."

    We have 2 special children. Elizabeth, the 5 year old, has the gift of wisdom. Abigail, the 3 year old, has the gift of healing.

    We need to pray and be careful how we answer their questions.

    Much love,
    your husband

  2. My seven year old has progressed to asking sex questions in the car. Nothing like negotiating rush hour traffic and responding to the big--"But Mom, how does the seed get inside the woman's uterus?" question. (We didn't hit the cyclist who veered in front of us at just that instant, but it was a near thing. . .)

  3. Hi there,
    Thanks for the link you left in the comments of my blog. I just wanted to say that I've enjoyed reading your site. Enjoyed isn't quite the right word. It's reassuring to read things I can relate to a bit! Thanks for putting this stuff out there.