Nannygranne looked at the question card and tried to envision the young heart being poured out onto the 3 x 5 note card before her. Was the young writer afraid for her future? Was she wary of the steep climb up the edifice of adult expectations looming before her? Or was she struggling to find cohesion between humanity’s messages and those she heard in Sunday School? Or it could be that she was missing someone who had passed. Not-knowing demands a prayer-soaked and thoughtfully studied answer, or two. So she imagined what she might say to a reaching young heart like that.
Fighting back angry tears, Emma shouted, “I didn’t ASK to be born!” before charging out of the room. Her mother, though right in her decision, was cut to the heart. She loved this child so much!
Following Emma to her room and saying a prayer outside the closed door, she slowly opened the door. After stepping over the threshold, she quietly closed it. “Honey,” she said, “I understand why you’re so disappointed, but I would like us to talk about why you were born.”
The red-faced tween stopped mid-sob and turned to see the expression on her mother’s face. Did she see tenderness – and maybe just a twinkle of eagerness? Really? THAT talk? Now? All she could do was to sit up on the side of her bed and wait to see where this was going.
“May I sit beside you?” her mother asked.
Her mother sat with her hands folded in her lap for a moment. Then: “You are right. You didn’t ask to be born. But Someone other than your dad and I wanted you to be here. That’s God.” The girl turned to her with a puzzled expression. She lovingly brushed a stray strand of auburn hair away from her daughter’s eyes. “I certainly don’t know how God thinks, and I know He has everything He needs. But I also know God is Love, and perhaps He wanted us to love forever, and to love Him forever.”
“But if He wanted me to be born and be with Him, why are we here instead of in Heaven?! Why did He even make the Earth to start with?!”
The mother could hear the disillusionment in Emma’s voice. There was much her daughter was ready to learn. “Wow! Those are intriguing questions! Would you like to check it out over a bowl of Cookies-n-Cream icecream?”
“Well, now that I can’t go to the slumber party, I guess I’ve got all night,” Emma responded.
Once settled at the table, armed with spoon and treat, the woman began. “Why are we here instead of heaven?” she repeated. “Actually, you touched on the answer when you said, ‘I didn’t ask to be born.’”
The girl looked up, a spoonful of icecream midway to her mouth.
“I’m serious,” Mom said. “That’s part of the answer to why we are here instead of in Heaven right now.”
“I don’t get it.”
“Well, as you said, when we are born on earth, we get no say about where, when, and into what family. But God wants to be our Forever Father, and He gives us many choices.”
“Choices?” She liked having choices.
“One of those choices is to follow God. In the Bible, God is invites you into His family, to become a part of Christ’s body, to be born again.”
“O-k-a-y.” She wasn’t sure where this was going.
“So God wants a forever family. BUT He only wants those who truly want Him for their Forever Father.”
Emma didn’t say anything, but she was listening.
“He lets us live on earth where we learn about making choices. And we learn about Him, and we learn that this world is not our best home. In this world, there are dangers and disappointments.”
Emma caught the word “disappointment.” “Like your not letting me go to the slumber party?” she said, a touch of bitterness lingering in her voice.
“Yes, like today – or worse.” Her mother took a sip of coffee, then continued. “But He asks us if we would like to be adopted into His family, be born again, take on His resemblance, and love as Jesus showed us. If we do, He tells us He’ll give us our own room in His house forever And we’ll all fit in and feel at home there.”
“So that’s why He made the earth?” Emma was still puzzled.
“Well, there’s a lot more to that answer. I was thinking of why we are here instead of in Heaven.”
“Oh, okay.” Emma thought a while, then said, “So God puts us on earth so we can figure Him out and decide whether we want to be in His family?”
Her mother couldn’t keep back a smile. “I think you’ve got it!”
Not wanting to let her mom off too lightly, Emma pressed, “What if we don’t want to be in His family? Then what?”
Her mother had to remind herself she was talking to a mind high on hormones that was trying to express the confusion in her heart.
The mother looked down at her hands, not willing to include her daughter in her answer. “Then, God lets people choose to be away from Him. And God is love, so those who don’t choose Love will be without God and His love forever. The Bible says God made Hell for the devil and his angels. That’s the only place that exists without Him. But that’s not what He hoped for when He created us.”
The girl sat silently, obviously thinking. Finally she spoke, a tear in her voice: “Mama, I’m sorry I said those mean things to you. I wouldn’t want anyone else to be my mother.”
They held each other a long time.
Finally, her mother spoke. “Honey, I know how it feels to be disappointed in someone and to lash out without thinking. I’ve done it, too. But, because I chose Him, my Forever Father forgets about that and helps me learn better ways to live. And don’t worry, He’s also shown me how to forgive.”
The girl hugged her mom a bit longer, then looked up at her with a mischievous grin. “Okay, now I want you to tell me why God created the Earth.”
Her mother laughed. “And I will. But, first, could you help me get supper ready before Daddy gets home?”
(To be continued)