Tonight, Carlos rode home with me after Sparks and as usual, he was quite talkative. This time, however, he wasn’t just blathering and saying nothing at all. First, he talked about the stars and wondered if he could count them. He concluded the matter by saying that there were just too many to count. Then he started asking me about Heaven, and out of nowhere he says, “When I go to Heaven, I’m going to say ‘God, can I push the button to make snow?’ and God say ‘Okay, Carlos,’ so I’ll push the button and then – SNOW!” Trying hard not to laugh, I said “Do you think God pushes a button to make it snow?” Carlos: “No, he probably just speaks and it snows.” I then tried to explain how God makes it snow by turning the air cold and how water is in the clouds. He seemed pretty interested in this information.
As we drove, he kept talking about heaven and about seeing God. It went something like this. “Why can I not see God? God is everywhere? Wow! When I’m in heaven, will I disobey?” [Me]: “No, in heaven we’ll be just like Jesus and will always obey because we will love God perfectly and not have any sin.” [Carlos]: “When I’m in heaven, I’ll be safe and no bad mans can get me. If they try, they’ll die.” [Me]: “Well, to get to heaven, you have to die too.” [Carlos]: “If I die, will Mommy and Papi and Jeremiah be sad?” [Me] Yes, we’ll be very sad, but we’ll also be kinda glad since you’ll be with Jesus and being with Jesus is the best.” [Carlos]: “Maybe I cry and be a little sad. But then I’ll be happy with Jesus and we play games. Maybe I want to go to heaven right now. Why can’t I go to heaven now?” [Me]: “Well, God wants us to be with him, but maybe he says not right now and we have to wait. God wants us to tell other people about Jesus so they can go to heaven too.”
I tried to explain (very poorly) that just like I was his Papi, God can be our Papi too and he takes care of us. Then Carlos asked, “How come God not give me anything for Valentine’s Day?” [Me]: “Well, did God give you a Mommy and a Papi?” “Yes.” “Did he give you cookies to enjoy and friends to play with and a fun time at Tia Rebekah’s house and at Sparks?” “Yes…..you’re right. God gave me lots of things!” Later on, after he asked if God could hear him, I asked, “What do you want to tell God?” [Carlos]: “I want to tell him that I love him mucho mucho and that he is the best, best, bestest!”
There was so much else in the conversation, like when he asked why Jesus died and did he stay dead, and that he wanted to be like Jesus and always say sorry for disobeying. Unfortunately I can’t remember all the details of the conversation. But it struck me this evening driving home that with each of these conversations that Carlos has, I understand more and more what Jesus meant when he said to come to Him “as a child.” Trying to put into words a little 5-year old can understand makes me dig past all the “Christianese” and pat answers that we might give an adult and really explain what it is to be a child of God. “Thank you, my heavenly Papi, for my son who, in his own innocent way, reminds me to think of you and to love you. You are the best, best, bestest and I love you.”
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