Recently Sofia learned how to say, "God." She clasps her little hands together in prayer and speaks his name whenever we pray together as a family. Don't I sound like a model Christian parent right now? As cute as this sounds and as proud as I am that she prays to God with us as a family, throughout the rest of the day it's clear the concept of God is more complex than a 17-month-old can really understand, or at least more complex than I know how to explain just yet.
For example I was singing her a song just now. I asked her what song she would like for me to sing next. Her response, "God." Then we started to walk downstairs and talk about Daddy. I asked her if she knew where her Daddy had gone, the correct answer would have been "work," a word she was just learning. Sofia responded, "God." After this we walked to the front door to check the mail and I asked her, "What do you think we got in the mail today, Sofia?" You guessed it. Her response was, "God."
So to Sofia, "God" is a song, He is a place, and He is something that the United States Postal Service carries from one place to another. I've heard the saying "out of the mouth of babes," to refer to the surprisingly insightful things children can come up with. But I've yet to find the theological profundity in what Sofia has shared with me thus far.
I think instead I have some work to do to try to explain to her who God is. And how do I explain that someone she cannot see is someone who is with us each and every day, created all of us and everything we see, someone that loves us and that we can love in return? I guess I have to admit that He is more complex than even I can truly understand. And maybe that is a worthwhile theological lesson that my little babe has taught me.
Theology just got 10 times more complicated.