God has been a frequent topic of conversation in our house. It started a few weeks ago when my almost five year old daughter pointed to my head and said, “What’s that?” “That’s my hair.” I replied. “No that, next to your head.”
I explained that it was the place where your hair comes out of your head. “Why did they put it there?” she continued. “Not they,” I explained “God put it there.” Which of course led to the next question, “What is God?”
You might think that as a rabbi I would have been better prepared to answer that question. I would have liked to think so as well.
I tried to tell her that God was everywhere and in everyone and I blew on her hand. Using a wonderful exercise from Rabbi Harold Schulweis to teach children about God, I showed her how she could feel my breath on her hand but she couldn’t see it and explained that God was like that as well. You can’t see God but you can feel God.
I’m not sure how well I did but clearly she is thinking about it because since that initial conversation God has come up quite a bit. My favorite was when she put her pajamas on the wrong way and asked me in frustration, “Why did God put the tag in back?” I kissed her all over in sheer delight at the question. Then I explained that people make clothes because we are God’s partners in creation. God gives us things like wheat and cotton and we help God by turning the wheat into food and the cotton into clothes.
How have you responded to your children’s questions about God?