You never know when one of those questions is going to come out of their mouths.
The ones you’re not sure how to answer.
The ones that represent an opportunity for important conversation.
The ones that give you a glimpse into their young and thoughtful minds.
This week at breakfast, Natalie asked one.
Does it hurt when you go to heaven?
I wasn’t sure what she meant at first. Then she explained. You know, like when Grandma died. Did it hurt when she went to heaven?
Natalie believes, as I do, that death is not the end.
But even in the context of our shared faith, there is no easy answer for her question.
I try to explain.
(Natalie, when someone is sick like Grandma was, it might hurt to die.)
But what happens next, does that hurt?
(No, honey. The Bible tells us that in heaven there is no pain and God will wipe every tear from our eyes. Grandma’s not in pain anymore. It didn’t hurt when she went to heaven.)
This seems to satisfy her, and she returns to her cereal.
I am still thinking about her question this weekend and about one very painful death more than 2000 years ago.
All of my faith, all of my life, hinges on that one death.
More than that.
All of my faith, all of my life, hinges on what happened three days later, when Jesus conquered death and rose again.
I expect more of those questions this morning at breakfast.
How did Jesus rise from the dead? (I don’t know.)
Is Grandma celebrating Easter in heaven? (I think so, every day. She’s singing the loudest of anyone, I bet.)
Will she eat ham for Easter, too? (If there’s ham in heaven, she’ll be first in line to get some.)
Is he really alive? (Yes, I believe it’s true.)
He’s the answer to every question. Even — especially— the most difficult ones.
I realize that not all of my readers share my faith in Jesus. I don’t typically write about my faith in this space. It’s not a secret, though. And on a day like today, there’s nothing more important for me to write about. Tuesday, I’ll be back to more of what you’re used to reading here. See you then. Whether you’re celebrating Easter or not, I hope you have a wonderful day.
I am the founder/CEO of the Weaving Influence team, the author of Reach: Creating the Biggest Possible Audience for Your Message, Book, or Cause, and the host of the Book Marketing Action Podcast. I’m a wife and mom of three kids, and I enjoy running, reading, writing, coffee, and dark chocolate.
Thanks Becky. He is risen indeed. Mike…
I really enjoyed your post, Becky, thank you. Happy Easter and God Bless! John
Becky, I think your dd and mine are about the same age. And we also share the same faith. And while both of our parents are alive, my grandmothers both passed in the past few years and we’ve dealt with those same questions. And I expect more today.
I truly believe that being the parent we’re meant to be means dealing with those tough questions in a thoughtful manner. Having a strong faith provides a background and a framework for our answers.
Our smart, tough, thoughtful kids deserve the best questions and life-base that we can give them. I’m glad to know you have that to help you with those queries.
Happy Easter to you and your family too!
I’m grateful you put yourself “out there” — good for you! As I’ve mentioned many times… leaders go first.
My sons too have several questions. Here in Iowa, yesterday was the funeral of a young man who was killed in Afghanistan, and a 2009 graduate of our local high school. A radical church group used his funeral as a platform to protest the war. Our community rallied back — with hundreds of people holding flags and flags lining the funeral procession route, held in our high school gym. Veteran motorcycle groups from across the state lined the streets, blocking the view (and sound) of the protestors.
My sons questions were as unanswerable as your daughters’: why are people protesting? Do you think it hurt a lot when he got shot and died? How much longer are people going to be fighting over there, and what are they fighting about?
They bring up good questions. I need to be better at coming up with good answers… or perhaps “I don’t know” is good enough.
Beautifully written Becky! I have had some challenging questions lately from my four-year-old grandson. One I’d like to share with you: https://babyboomerbev.blogspot.com/2011/03/talking-to-grandchildren-about-death.html
Like Angie, I appreciate that you “put yourself out there.” It is clear that Christianity is something of vital importance to you. In this day and age of media and hollywood hostility, I truly respect you for being so open and honest about your faith.
I was raised as a fundamentalist christian, but because of the attitudes and actions of the kind described by Angie, I left the fundamentalist realm. There is absolutely no way to justify using someone’s heartbreak and sorrow as an opportunity to advance one’s political agenda, conservative or liberal. To me that is the essence of evil, and I don’t believe that God would have anything to do with that kind of belief or behavior.
Today, I consider myself a Christian skeptic. I know, that sounds like a contradiction in terms, but it’s not. In Isaiah God invites us to “Come, let us reason together. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow.” Reason is not foreign to Christian faith. Christian faith is not necessarily blind. I hold to the certain basics of the Christian faith (the historicity of Jesus, his life, death, and resurrection), but call into question much of Christian dogma. I don’t think questions are ever wrong.
I do think, however, that the *demand* for answers is not necessarily healthy. Which is why I’m glad you sometimes answer with “I don’t know.” The longer I live my life the more comfortable I get with “I don’t know.” There are just questions that, in my limited time here on this planet, I’ll never be able to adequately answer. Certainty is not guaranteed in this life. I’m not even sure that it will be in the next.
All I do know is that every day I take a breath it is important to be grateful to God for this wonder filled journey we call life.
Thanks for sharing your faith today. You shared in a way that invited anyone to consider questions we all ask–or questions we get asked sometimes by our children or by our friends or relatives. Sometimes we’ve found the answers. Sometimes we’re still looking.
Even though I too celebrate the miracle of an empty tomb today, there are days I still struggle with unanswerable questions. It’s comforting to know I God is big enough to love me–questions and all.
What a beautiful post, Becky! Yes, love requires a life, and you wear His so faithfully. May all that you do bring you and yours abundant blessings of joy. Happy Easter (all year long)!
There are many parents who leave their children to make up there own minds about the answers to their spiritual questions. I admire you for being a parent who gives spiritual guidance and instilling values in your children deliberately. How wonderful for them to know that Easter is not a holiday created by Hallmark or the Easter Bunny, but a holiday which holds the crux of life and death!
What a glorious resurrection we celebrate!
Sharing faith is sharing of yourself and that, my friend, you do beautifully! Hope you had a very happy Easter!
Beautiful post, Becky. One of my favorites. I’m glad you shared it again. 🙂 HE IS RISEN INDEED!
YES, Becky!!!!! YES!!!