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Explaining the “evidence of things unseen”

July 29, 2013
 |  by Julie

Explaining the “evidence of things unseen”

In the past week, I’ve discovered three mistruths my daughter believes: she thinks outer space doesn’t exist; she believes her baby brother is made of play dough; and she thinks Jesus isn’t real.

“Piper, do you think you might want to be an astronaut and visit outer space when you grow up?”

“Mom. Outer space isn’t real.” (Silly mom.)

. . .

“Mom, is Finn made of play dough?”

“Ha, ha! No, he’s made of . . . well, he’s NOT made of play dough.”

“Yes, he is. Look,” she says as she squishes his pudgy thighs. Granted, he is soft and doughy.

. . .

“Mom, let’s pretend Jesus is real.”

“What? He IS real, Piper!”

“No, he’s not,” she said with nonchalance.

. . .

The first two scenarios made me laugh, but you can imagine how perplexing it was to hear my daughter proclaim Jesus to be imaginary. Later in the week she also asked me how it was possible for Jesus to live in more than one person’s heart.

I spent a lot of time this week trying to reassure her, and perhaps prove to her, that Jesus is indeed real (but that He can do “impossible” things). But how do you effectively do that?

The best I could do was the classic “wind metaphor.” I’ve heard many pastors use this metaphor, and I actually love it. I asked her if the wind is real and she said yes. Then I asked if she could see the wind, and she said no. “Well, just because we can’t see something doesn’t mean it isn’t real. Just like Jesus! We can’t see Him, but He is real! We can see how He moves, how he changes lives, protects us and helps us grow close to God.” Just like outer space, or the bones and blood and soul that make up her brother’s body, He is present and He is real.

The first time I explained all this, she gave me a blank stare and promptly asked for a snack. The second time I brought it up, she at least nodded and said, “Uh huh.”

Does she get it? Probably not. But is she beginning to see the light? I hope so. Perhaps it’s just a small glimmer in her four-year-old mind, but I can keep fanning the embers through words and actions and – mostly – through prayer.

This week I will be praying for wisdom and guidance as we parents teach our little ones that “faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Won’t you join me?

. . .

How have you taught your children about the reality of truths unseen? Do you have another good metaphor or illustration for teaching faith? What mistruths or questions have your children presented to you lately? Join the discussion!