|The book that launched the journey.|
All in a day's work.
Homeschooling is completely a labor of love. And every now and then it becomes very clear to me why God has called me to this path. This winding, exhausting, exhilerating path.
The pages are turned, mother and son looking together through the pages of history. We are studying the Vikings, explorers of old. I am learning almost as much as my son. And remembering. Churning over the earth of my aged mind to uncover nuggets that were buried there. I read aloud, share the text of the pages. And it happens: we bridge the gap. The gap of the age old fight of whose God reigns.
Age six, and I am already handing him his battle gear.
I read on, realizing the words spilling out from my lips, they keep tumbling one over the other, awkwardly unstoppable now. Knowing that it was going to occur at some point--some future sacred time and space. But today? There it is, messy history, words floating, ready-or-not, the account of how the Vikings believed in magic spells for healing. How they buried their possesions with them --and even their slaves-- thinking that those items would follow them in to the afterlife. I read on and on. Unable to see my son's eyes, I focus on the page and just continue to read..waiting for the questions...hoping please for the questions....
And then they come.
"Why did they think that, mom?"
These are the times that I must be grounded in my own faith, and stand on it firmly.
But as much as I desire, I cannot pull my son onto my rock. He must climb there for himself.
I explain the search for God throughout history. That one thing rings true: people through history have a God-sized space in their hearts and have searched. How fear drove cultures to invent gods to answer questions and explain nature. And I use what little words I have...oh where is my head today...to explain the difference between our real God and the make-believe gods. And son replies,
"Well. We think our God is real. But the Vikings thought their gods were real. So who's right?"
I look him in the eye, and know that all my head-knowledge of eye-witness gospel accounts, archaeological evidence, the way that our God outperformed the old testament pagan gods--I know that such apologetics comes with time and that, at age 6, the answer must be simple. And that my concise answer does not suffice the mountain my son has ahead of him to climb.
The mountain of truth. And I want to say,
"Welcome, son. Your journey is just beginning!"
I never want him to follow Christ simply because his mother did.
I want him to follow because he knows TRUTH.
But in order to do so, I must let him wander out from the safety of my skirt.
And it hurts.
I imagine my son in a classroom surrounded by other students, uncovering this simple Viking book and hearing words of ancient beliefs spoken from a teacher who may or may not portray Jesus as truth, and the questions swirling around in his mind. The questions that he may never have remembered to ask his mother after stepping foot off the school bus at the end of the weary day. The book being returned to its home on the shelf, and the questions disappearing. The questions that swirl up the dust of doubt and settle again and come back to haunt when they are unanswered. And I am grateful. Grateful that the introduction of the gap between our God and all the others was mine to introduce. Grateful that I saw his reaction firsthand and know what to teach in the future. Grateful that the mouth that taught him his first bible verse is the same mouth that honestly taught him that the world has many, many gods. And that it's okay to ask questions.
And I will always answer.
And God is big enough for our doubts.