Husband. Dad to 5. Student Ministry Pastor. Follower of Jesus. Yatta yatta.


I started my weekly afternoons with Jake yesterday.  On Mondays after school I’m picking him up and taking him to grab an ice cream or something.  In order to earn his treat, he only has to ask me two questions.

I told him this on his way to school on Monday. He was very excited about this and when I picked him up, the first thing he said to me is, “Hey Dad, I got my two questions.”  We then went to the bank to open his first bank account with $63 he had saved from gifts and such and then to starbucks to talk about life.

I asked him what questions he had and he very excitedly asked me these two things.

  1. How do you think your heart and soul get to heaven? 
  2. What do you think heaven is like?
Now I thought these were fairly deep for a 9 year old boy. I even told him that it was ok if he just wanted to know my favorite color or what I loved about our family.  But he wanted these two questions answered. We talked about it a little and about what the Bible says.  But I had to confess to him that I was both confident and guessing at the answers.  I told him I was confident that the Bible, when it speaks of one’s heart, is not actually talking about the physical organ in his chest.  I also told him that while I would not be upset if heaven has golden streets, but that I wasn’t holding out for it because the book of the Bible that describes heaven with streets like that also describes Jesus returning with a sword coming out of his mouth, and that just seems weird to me.  So I try not take any of the details too literally.
But anyway, he was interested and so we scratched at answering his Big Boy questions with as little presumption as I could.  Then on the way home, he saw a car with this sticker on the back for the second time in 2 days with me.  They are huge and evidently there’s some cool trend saying you should place one of each of them on either side of your car or trucks rear window.
Jake saw these “skin branded” angel and demon women and he vocalized that he thought that one was an angel and one was a devil.   I was hoping he noticed neither, but he is a 9 year old boy and they are like 18″ high in front of us.  Not much chance for missing it I suppose.  Now, without going into a whole theology for a 9 year-old, I told him that I didn’t think either image was Godly or all that angelic.  I wasn’t sure that either of them were made to encourage Jake or I to seek God or to do God’s work. 
I told him that we don’t know a ton about angels from the Bible, but I do know some things and I’m pretty sure they don’t wear heals.  I also told him that from time to time he’d see pictures of female angels and even of babies as angels with wings, but in the Bible, they are always male and a couple of places they have 6 wings.  (2 to cover their face, on their body to fly, and two to cover their feet.  -Isaiah 6:2) 
Anyway, all of this reminded me of several truths:
  1. the best convos I have with my kids are one-on-one.  This time is priceless.
  2. the supernatural is mysterious.  I need to be careful not to make concrete that which is only partially known.  My kids are curious.  I can be curious with them and enjoy the mystery too. 
  3. teaching my kids how to interact with theology -in images, commercials, conversations, print, etc.- is part of my job as a parent.  Failure to do so doesn’t mean they won’t be confronted with it.  It just means they won’t have any capacity to evaluate it for good or bad.  
  4. I need to keep a can of spray paint in my car to help the rearview windows of those who clearly don’t have small children staring at them asking, “Daddy, how come that angel girl is naked like that?”

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