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Theological Wrestling With A Three-Year-Old

So we were driving to church Sunday
morning, just chatting about things in the car as we went. And I
can’t remember how the conversation came up, but we began
talking about heaven and going there, and Maddie said something
about wearing her favorite sparkly leotard there, or something to
that effect. And I made some comment about how we wouldn’t
look exactly the same when we get to heaven, and Maddie immediately
became both worried and suspicious.

“That’s not true, Mommy
– we’ll look exactly the same in heaven!”

“No, honey, I don’t think we will,” I said

“How do you know?”

Brian gave me a “let’s see you get out of this
one!” snicker, and I proceeded carefully. “Well, most
people think God will give us new bodies, and we’ll look
different, if we are physical at all.”

At this point, Maddie is panicking slightly, and I can see those
“how will I find my Mommy?” wheels turning. “Then
how will we be up there?”

“Um, I know God will bring our hearts inside of us there
– our souls, what makes each of us unique. And we’ll
still be able to recognize each other that way. God will raise up
the essence of each of us, I know.”

Maddie latched onto a fine point. “No, God will raise up our
whole body to look exactly the same! In the Bible, Lazarus is
raised up looking exactly like he did when he died and they put him
in the ground!”

Hey, good point there, Maddie. Glad you were paying attention.

“Yes, honey, but that was a miracle God performed while he
was here on the earth. We’re talking about when we all die,
and go to God’s kingdom.”

Maddie smiled triumphantly. “But Mommy, you always say that
God’s kingdom is right here on earth, right now, and we
should serve him that way!”

Man, that kid really listens. Is she taking notes or something???

We have these conversations regularly, and I’m not sure what
to do when she outgrows my theological understanding – which
should happen in, oh, about three weeks. How about the old standby

“Go ask your father.”


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