The window of faith, bestowed on to parents by their children, regarding our omniscience, closes quickly. One minute they believe you when you tell them the dog went to a “farm” to live (which works unless they want to visit said “farm” to see the dog) and the next they don’t believe you when you tell them you’re their father.
Right now, I still retain only a portion of my omniscience with my 8 year old (Emma, my 5 year old, on the other hand I could tell I have gills and can breathe like a fish and she would most likely buy in to it). I’ve begun to get looks from Hannah I didn’t think I’d be seeing for another 4 or 5 years with every answer I fumble through. If I’m not careful, I’m never going to be able to convince her before she hits adolescence, kissing boys makes you go blind, you’ll spend 5-10 in jail for smoking, and only criminals and Miley Cyrus drink alcohol.
But I have found a way to maintain my standing. Jesus. Yes, the son of God, savior to millions, face of burnt pieces of toast, the explanation for the unexplainable. So let me explain.
Hannah goes to Prep, nee CCD. For non-Catholics, Prep is school for the kids whose parents refuse to incur the cost of Catholic school tuition while they are paying for a perfectly adequate public school education in their taxes. Since 1st grade, Hannah has been attending Prep. Now in 3rd grade, she only has about 7 years left of Prep (pretty sure it took less time to write the Bible than it does to study it). Upon completing Prep Hannah should be qualified to be a Catholic. But I digress.
Learning about Jesus, though chock full of merit, has begun to bring up a whole slew of questions Hannah needs answers for. Questions some have used to write book disproving Mr. Christ while others have used to spread his grace (and some have used to justify lunacy). Questions I don’t always have answers to nor would a 400 level Philosophy course give me either.
Some of her questions:“Daddy, how could Mary and God have Jesus if Mary was married to Joseph?” “Daddy, will Penny (our dog) go to heaven when she dies?” “Daddy, if we’re all God’s children, does that mean we are brother and sister?” “Daddy, where did God come from?” “Daddy, does God have a mom and dad?” “Daddy, if I don’t go to confession, will I go to H.E.L.L. (she won’t say ‘Hell’ because it’s a curse word)?” “Daddy, how did Jesus move the rock in front of his cave?”
Given enough time on the Internet, I could find reasonable answers to some of the questions (that don’t have me trying to quote texts, explain Francis Assisi, metaphysical transformations, and Paul’s infatuation with the Corinthians off the top of my head). Trying to come up with answers while an 8 year old is peppering you with questions that would give the Pope pause isn’t so easy. So I resort to the stock religious answer, “Sometimes you just have to have faith.” An answer Hannah feels satisfied with.
And that is how Jesus is going to save me (it was the resurrection for you wasn’t it?). Because I know (as Hannah will eventually find out) I won’t have all the answers and neither does the Bible. Last time I checked, there is nothing in the Gospels about boy crushes, breakups, sexting, the dangers of drugs, or online predators. There is no guide to female hormones in Revelation (trust me I’ve already looked…twice). But Jesus tells his flock all questions can be answered with faith. How else is someone to believe in walking across water to get to Bethsaida? Or in healing lepers? Or having a buffet for 5000 people with 7 loaves of bread and some fish? Or rising from the dead? Or believing your father has all the answers?