Wow, I never knew so many topics could be covered so thoroughly in a 30 minute drive - until I had a child!
Leaving from the great-grandparents place tonight, we saw an armadillo (2, actually), so I spent the next little bit answering questions like, 'do armadillos have sharp teeth?' and, 'what would happen if you picked up an armadillo?', and, 'do hunters shoot armadillos and eat them?', among many others. At point, she told me she to learn about them and when she went to school she would ask her teacher to teach her about them - then she said, 'Mama, will you be my teacher?' So, after we arrived home, I had to look up armadillos on the internet for her - we had to see pictures, find out where they live, what they eat, etc. After I exhausted all the pertinent facts that Wikipedia had to offer, she informed me, 'let's go somewhere else and look for those things - I want to learn more!'
Then we moved on to heaven, and people dying and going there...'when I see someone that I love and have missed in Heaven, will there still be tears in my eyes?'; I told her that we don't cry anymore in Heaven, but she told me, 'but Mom, when I see someone I've missed, when I run to hug them, I might still have some tears on my face!'. So, then she wanted to know, 'what will God do to us if He sees us with tears?'
I'm sure she thought there might be punishment for doing something that wasn't allowed, after all, there are usually consequences for disobeying - but I got to tell my little girl about a loving God who, though He doesn't allow tears in His Heaven, when He sees tears in our eyes, does not punish us, but instead will reach down and gently wipe them away.
And I got tears in my eyes just thinking about it...I'm glad I have a God like that!
As a mother, there are so many things I can't explain - I don't know if armadillos have sharp teeth, or how Barbara Manatee (on VeggieTales) wears a dress and lipstick, or how a lie grows so big that it will swallow you up (VeggieTales, again), nor do I know why some people get sick and die, or why some people lose arms and legs, if it will be hard for hard to find Mommy and Daddy in Heaven, or why Bubby thinks red is green, why some people hurt kids, or why some kids don't have mommies and daddies (all questions I've been asked recently).
But I do know this: there is a God in Heaven who cares so much about me, that when I'm sad -it makes Him sad; when I hurt, He hurts with me; when I don't have answers to all the questions and the problems I face, He whispers, 'Just Trust Me'; and when I finally reach my permanent home - His home - because He cares so much, He will reach out to me, and with His great big God-hand - the very Hand that flung stars into galaxies, formed oceans and rivers, tree, plants and all those animals that I can't explain, the Hand that created man from just a handful of dust - with that Hand, He will wipe away every tear that has ever fallen from my eyes.
You know, maybe I don't need all the answers to all the questions...that's answer enough.