Saturday, February 13, 2010

If Earth went up and Heaven came down

Sometimes I wonder how much of what I teach my children is actually sinking in. My two oldest sons have a fascination with Heaven, God and Santa Claus. I've had many conversations with them explaining the difference between God and Santa Claus and where Heaven is. 

I'm not quite ready to disillusion them with the truth about Santa Claus. As far as they know, Santa Claus is at the North Pole. Thanks to "The Polar Express," they know the North Pole is at the top of Earth. They think they can take a train to get there. 

Seeing a physical representation of Santa at the mall has given them a tangible reference for the commercialized symbol of Christmas. Their little minds are searching for the same kind of reference for God.

They understand God is in Heaven. Trying to explain where Heaven is and how to get there, is a lot more difficult. My best answer to date is that Heaven is above the stars in the sky, and people go there when they die. We've had brief, lighthearted discussions about how people get to Heaven and what they'll see when they get there. I'm trying to instill in them the idea that death isn't something to fear. It's just the journey that has to be made to get to the wonderful place where God resides. They seem to be satisfied with that. 

Recently, God came up in conversation with my middle son. This time, however, the context took me by surprise. My 4-year-old asked me if he could die that day. Trying to hide my surprise at such an odd question, I told him no, he has a lot of living to do yet. Then I asked him why did he want to die? He replied, "I want to give God a hug. I so love Him, Mom." 

After I reassured him that God loves him too, my little boy asked me if Santa was at home at the top of Earth right now, and if Earth went up and Heaven came down, would God and Santa meet? If that happened, could we meet God at the North Pole with Santa? He was trying his best to find another way to give God a hug.

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