Tuesday, August 25, 2009

From the Mouth of Babes

I have a lot of questions. Questions about death. Questions about heaven. Questions about God.
I am raw. Tender. Angry.

It turns out that Silas has a lot of questions too.

Tonight when I was tucking in Silas, we began to talk about angels, how if we could see them, we'd see that they are fiercely bright, winged light. That they are light because God is light. That God is pure light. About how when we are kind and loving, we bring light because Love is light. And how cruelty and meanness brings darkness because they are not a part of Love. About how as we move through life, we want to move in the light and bring light. About how there is light inside of us.
He listened.
He nodded.
Then asked, "how does the light inside us die?"
"Oh. The light inside of us doesn't die. It will never die. God made the light inside of us to live forever."
"Because the light is our spirit."
"Where is it?"
"It's tucked deep inside you."
"What will happen when my mouth dies?" he asks, with his fingers touching his lips.
I can feel my pupils shrink and my body tense for a minute, a flash-picture of his mouth being dead, his face being dead -- and he is asking as matter-of-fact-ly as if we were talking about pulling up weeds in the yard.
But there is nothing I can do but swallow and answer with my voice warm and even:
"When your mouth dies, long from now, your spirit will stay alive."
"But how will I jump?"
"You'll get a new body in heaven, a spirit body."
"Oh yeah, because I'll need to jump really high." (in heaven on the moon bounce).
"But what will happen when my mouth dies. Why will it die?"
Swallow. "Remember your body will die because your brain will stop" (we have talked about this before), "but your spirit will be in heaven."
"And will I be able to jump as high as the ceiling?"
"Yeah. I bet you you'll even jump as high as the house. ... I bet you will even be able to fly."
"Will I be really really big in heaven?"
"Do you want to be really big?"
"Yes. So big. As big as the solar system. Can I be?"
"Yeah, you probably can be. You'll have to ask Jesus that, but I bet he'll say yes."

The thing about these conversations, which make me hold my breath a little and feel like I'm wearing three soaking wet heavy winter coats is that they make me sit with my sadness, they push me to the teetering edge of solidity and force me to lean into vast mystery, they boil me down. Today I moved in a dust storm of angry questions. Why, why why?? And then Silas came. And he wanted to know about light. And he wanted to know about his body being dead. And he wanted to know if the light inside him would die. And I had to sift, quickly, through that chalky wind to find the pieces of rock that I know are solid, even if they're small in my hands right now: that yes, there is God; that yes, God is Light; that yes, he gives us Light even in utter darkness; that he made the very core of us hunger for more than this life because there is more than this; that that more is more than we can imagine.

From the mouth of babes -- my own questions, my deepest fears, hope.


susanna said...

I love this... Tonight when I was tucking in Silas, we began to talk about angels, how if we could see them, we'd see that they are fiercely bright, winged light. I can barely see them in my mind's eye...for all the light. :)

Katarina said...

Bronwen, reading your blog for the first time. This one in particular is incredibly touching! What a gift you have.