This I believe
Like many of us out there, I believe in God. Especially now that I know what he looks like.
My son, Ethan, was just four when he met God. We were in the car, driving home from pre-school. “I saw Grandpa Stu last night”, he announced from his car seat. I choked a little on my coffee. “Grandpa Stu” was a great guy, loved his job, golfing, tennis, his four kids and of course Ethan, his first grandson. He had also died suddenly of a massive heart attack nine months earlier. Therefore, “seeing Grandpa Stu” was, to me, kind of creepy. As I had missed the chapter on “what to expect when your kid sees dead relatives” in my parenting handbook, naturally I punted.
“Holy crap! That must have been really scary!”, I said, readjusting my rearview mirror to see if Ethan was as freaked as I was. He wasn’t. “Good job.” I thought. “Textbook response really.” I pressed on, “So, how did he… uh… look?” I was imagining Grandpa Stu smoking a cigar – shreds of skin barely covering his skull – not a good look for anyone, especially a 64 year who died in his sleep wearing shamrock boxers. “He looked good,” Ethan said, “but he really just wanted to introduce me to God.”
Let me take this moment to say, I’ve never been that religious. My mom was Protestant, my dad Episcopalian. They baptized me Methodist and then turned around and sent me to Catholic School. Naturally I married a Jewish man. Still, I wish I had come up with something deeper to ask Ethan than, “What’s up with God?” And yes, you can read it as Jerry Seinfeld; because that was the way I delivered it. “What is up… with God?”
Ethan looked at me as if I should know “what was up with God” and why he was visiting a young boy in the middle of the night accompanied by a dead Jewish guy. He rolled his eyes, “He wanted to tell me that he was there to take care of the bad guys and I shouldn’t worry about them because that was his job.” Not exactly the earth-shattering message I was hoping He was going to impart on my son whom I now realized I could not call “the prophet”. I ventured forward with one last question.
“You know Ethan, I’ve never met God before and I’m curious… what does he look like?” Ethan didn’t hesitate, “His body is the earth and His face is ever changing.” He stated it as fact. I almost drove off the road. Not just because my four year old had used the word “ever changing”, but that his description of God was so beautiful – so perfect.
I think I’ve always believed in God, but it’s really great to finally put a face with the name. Thanks, Ethan.
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