As we were decorating the Christmas tree, my six-year-old and I, listening to Boney M’s ‘Little Drummer Boy’ on repeat with the call to prayer from a nearby Dubai mosque in the background, my kid thought it was a good time to ask about the Almighty.
“Is God a real person?”
“I think he is more of a force.”
“What does that mean?”
“I mean he is not a person you can see, just a power of good.”
“That doesn’t make sense.”
“Tell me about it.”
“What’s God’s middle name?”
“I don’t really know. What do you think it should be?”
“I think God’s name should be God Christmas Snow.”
“Good name. I think he’ll like it.”
“What is God’s wife like?”
“I don’t think he has a wife.”
“What about his kids?”
“He doesn’t have kids.”
“Who will be God when he dies?”
“I don’t think God ever dies. He lives forever.”
“Is God a ghost?”
(I’m starting to pretend I have a headache) “I don’t believe he’s a ghost, he is just invisible.”
“He makes magic? Like Harry Potter?”
“Not magic like a magician, but he just chooses not to show himself to us.”
“But why do we all die and God doesn’t? Why do kids die?”
“I don’t know. We will google that one day. Can we finish decorating the tree now?”
As I waffled about with the ornaments, I realized that having an inquisitive child who was also smarter than average was going to be a rough ride. Should I just quote Napoleon to her when he said: “Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich” and leave it at that? Should I watch ‘Hannah and Her Sisters’ again to see from Woody Allen’s point of view which world religion makes most sense and explains God best?
On the bright side, the World might end this month according to a bunch of short Mayans, long dead, so I don’t have to deal with these big questions.
If not, you will still have to suffer a few more soul-searching and theology-exploring blog posts. But then again, I never forced you to subscribe to my blog. So suck it up.