Monday, April 21, 2008

Choosing black lungs

So, I'm taking Talks-a-lot to school this morning and we get into an in-depth conversation about God. He starts asking me if God tells you what job you're going to have one day and I told him that you're supposed to pray about different job opportunities that might come your way and follow down the path God leads you. He then tells me that when he grows up he wants to work with children. I was ecstatic to hear this and assured him that was a wonderful thing to do. He then followed with, "Yes, I want to be a Mommy one day.". Hmm...I was sorry to break the news that only girls can be mommies, but he was okay with this as long as he could still be a "daddy". "Yes you can be a daddy, but that's not a job you get paid for. If you have a family, you'll have to find a job that pays you money so you can support them like your daddy does.", I explained. "Wait," he began, "does that mean when I become a daddy that my daddy will die?". Taken aback by this question, I can only assume that he must have thought that once he becomes a grown up and our job as his parents is "done", that we must just go on and die. I reassured him that life does not work that way. "No, honey Jesus decides when people die and it has nothing to do with whether you're a grown up or not. You can be any age when you die. It doesn't matter how old you are, it's all up to God." After explaining this enormous life lesson, I started to wonder if I had bitten off more than I could chew. Could this child, at only 5 years of age, possibly comprehend life in a fleeting and unpredictable way? I soon found out. For some reason, I continued on my ramblings about life and death. "You see, my GRANDmother, Mimi, was still alive when I was an adult and she'd probably still be alive today if she hadn't of made the choice to smoke." Nodding his head, Talks-a-lot agreed, "Yes, she shouldn't have made that choice to have the black lungs because then she'd still be alive and we could play with her. Did she believe in Jesus?". Surprised at this question, I began to stammer, "Uh, yes honey, I truly believe that she did!". I could see Talks-a-lot in the rear view mirror contemplating this response and noticed a joy spread across his face. "Oh well then she probably made that choice on purpose. She probably chose to smoke and get black lungs because she wanted to die so she could hurry up and go to heaven. She just wanted to get this part over with so she could get on up to heaven with Jesus. Hm...well, that's good, then." Smiling and softly laughing, I started to assure him that this wasn't the case at all, but I stopped. I was way too taken by how already, at the tender age of 5, this child can sense heaven in all its glory as a relief from this material world. If only we could all see the world through the eyes of a child, maybe we'd choose the black lungs too...

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