Awestruck Wonder

"How great are His signs, And how mighty His wonders! His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And His dominion is from generation to generation." Daniel 4:3

Death . . . or?? November 1, 2009

Filed under: family — steveamy @ 03:44

In my many imaginary lives and wanderings with a little girl I have babysat, I noticed a kind of fascination with death that she has.  No matter what we played, it seems, somebody died.  Of course, they usually come back to life again after a significant amount of sadness and trying to revive them, etc., but the fact remains – they die.  And I am left curious, a little disturbed, wondering “Why?”

The phsycology of it all fascinated me, and so there have been many theories and opportunities with her . . . and a few conclusions.  But it all came to a head when I was looking at a photo album with her.

G: “There’s my daddy.  He looks like he’s getting gray hair!”

Me: “Yep – when we begin to get older we get more and more gray hair.”

G: “But . . . my daddy can’t get old!!  NO!  If he gets older, then maybe he will . . . die!!”

Me: “We all have to die sometime.”

G: “We all have to die?! Even you . . . even me?”

Me: “Yes, we all have to die because we sinned and now there’s death in the world.  But guess what?”

G: “What?”

Me: “God says that if we believe in Jesus, then we will go to heaven to be with God forever.  And then .. . if you die and your Daddy dies, then you will see each other again.”

G: “Oh . . . ”

Me: “That’s why Jesus came . . . he says that when you get to heaven – after you die – then you will get to SEE him!  That’s the best part!”

G: (Big, round eyes) “WE WILL GET TO SEE JESUS?!!!! YAY!!!!”

She couldn’t contain her excitement.  She was jumping up and down, clapping her hands, so ecstatic that it brought tears to my eyes.

Yes.  We will get to SEE HIM.  Face to face. Loving. Praising. Forever.  I did a little jumping and clapping of my own after I got home, she inspired me so much – made it so real.

As the world celebrates and attempts to befriend death this night, we have something real to celebrate.  We have a friend who cared enough about us to sacrifice his life in blood and agony so that we could be with Him forever. Never separated.  Gray hairs banished.  Sin and tears wiped away.

I can’t wait.


7 Responses to “Death . . . or??”

  1. “The last enemy that will be destroyed is death… So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ THANKS BE TO GOD, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
    1 Cor. 15: 26, 54, 57

    Thanks for that encouraging reminder!

  2. Marc Says:

    I think speaking to children about death is good, but it should be done in a less biased context. Simply indicating to a child that she’ll see her father again when she dies is not fair to her. How can you presume they’ll be Christian when they die?! You haven’t even told her (since you fail to meantion anything beyond a Christain point of view) about religion in general, or that the idea of death and what it means differs from region, culture, and religion. It’s just such a limited perspective on the world to offer a child. As an adult, I think they need more direction in leading a moral life, but not specifically a Christian direction. Give her the freedom to choose for herself rather than imposing your own views of religion on her; it’s simply unfair and wrong.
    You can argue about the benefits of your God all you want…but ultimately there is no one truth, nor one spritual belief in the world. No religion is superior to another, although some may think so, therefore tolerance and equality should be inlcuded in instructing a child on life and death.

    You only live once. Let this little girl grow up and make mistakes on her own, without Christain ideologies hanging over her shoulders. If she wants that, then wait till she chooses it before talking to her about a Christain afterlife.


    • steveamy Says:

      I’m sorry, Marc, I haven’t been on the internet for a while (life’s been busy!) and so I didn’t see your comment until now.

      Thank-you for your perspective, and for stating it so boldly and clearly. I hope you will allow me to disagree and give a fair argument as well. 🙂

      You are right about one thing – I did tell her that they would see one another again IF they believed in Jesus when they died. I think one of the reasons I forgot to write that down is because I think she really has embraced Christianity for her own – although she is still too young to realize the far-reaching implications of such a choice.
      (I did have a few questions about what you believe, though. Here are a few of them: 1) Why would the fact that they will see each other again IF they believe in Jesus when they die be a sticking point for you if you believe that there are many ways? Maybe if there are many ways they still will end up in the same place in the end . . . ?? I’m confused. Maybe you could help me out with that one.
      2) If children need direction in leading a moral life, which morals do I teach her? Do I instill Muslim morals or Hindu morals or Taoist morals or Christian morals or just “obey the government and have fun for the rest” . . . ? There are so many different things I could teach her. Building on that, you’re right – I could teach her basic rules of society and leave her for the rest, but the fact is that she will never be able to obey all the rules, no matter how little I teach her. Then what? What hope will she ever have in life, to try to function in life and to keep failing over and over? To be hurt by others who fail and to have no answers? What hope is there for a great future in that?
      3) If there is no one truth, why are you even bothering to tell me that what I told her is “wrong”? Why do you even care? You are telling me that what you believe is a truth. Why are you applying a different standard to me?)

      Marc, there are so many more questions and things I want to say that come rushing to my head with all this, but here is the main point. We only live once. (Although there are religions that would contest this, so I’m not sure why you stated this as a truth.) Would you rather live your life for something worth dying for, or would you rather live your life not really caring about anything because “there is no one truth”? (Which you’ve also stated as a truth, by the way.)

      Here is the truth: I can try and try and try to live a moral life and do right, but I will fail. In fact, I do fail over and over and over every single day of my life. I can’t tell you how much I wish I didn’t fail, but I do. It causes me and other people so much pain. So what hope do I have? There IS a God. And He is perfect, and judges perfectly. One day I will probably die. What will happen? What hope will I have? I have done wrong, morally. This deserves death and worse. A failure I will be in life, and a failure I would be in death if it wasn’t for one thing – The breathtaking answer. God came down to earth to live perfectly and to die in place of me! He’s the only one who could ever be strong enough to bear my sin – to pay the penalty that sin deserves, to conquer death and give me life! All I have to do is accept His gift and live for HIM. This is why I love Him! I will get to see Him face-to-face and I will be with my Savior forever when I die! That is this little girl’s comfort, more even than seeing her earthly father when they both die. This is my comfort as well – and more than that, my happiness.

      The fact is, Marc: Jesus said that He is the ONLY WAY. There is no other hope. So I guess you could just deny it and say He was lying. You could say that He was a lunatic. But there is one thing you can not say: That He is just one way of many. You just can’t.

      And so, although I could get into serious trouble for this, I will continue to talk about my Savior to whoever will hear. This is not imposing my beliefs on anyone any more than you would say you have just imposed your beliefs on me. I will simply tell the truth and save souls from death. 🙂 It would not be fair to anyone to do otherwise.

  3. Marc Says:

    I really don’t understand why my “comment is awaiting moderation.” It’s a fair argument and an objective one at that. If you’re going to post something like this, you’re going to get people who disagree. Deal with it.

  4. steveamy Says:

    Oops, I just re-read my post and I DID say that they would go to heaven IF they believe in Jesus. 🙂 Sorry.

    • steveamy Says:

      And . . . I’m sorry my reply is so long – I got a little carried away. Hope you can get through it all sometime.

  5. Cheryl Says:

    What a conversation! That’s so awesome … how great that she could comprehend the hope of eternity at such a young age.

    Very good arguments there, too, Ames. I completely agree – I’m all about living for something worth dying for. It’s the only way to really live.

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