Dreampt of in my theology

Parenting is good for one’s personal theology, I’m sure. It removes the patina of disuse and age from thoughts that were considered settled back when one was thinking big thoughts that heady freshman year of college. Here, for example, is an actual discussion between Grey and me on my commute this morning:

Grey: Mommy, make Spiderman real!
Mommy (thinking this is a good introduction to the finite abilities of parents): Grey, I don’t have the ability to make things real. I can’t make imaginary things real.
(Silence from the back seat while this is mulled over)
Grey: OK, let’s pray for Spiderman to be real.
Mommy: Uh… you lead
Grey: OK mommy. You say after me.

Dear God
I love you very much
Please make Spiderman real and alive
I mean RED Spiderman.
Thank you.
Amen

So if you find that New York City has some unexplained sightings and crimes that go punished by a mutant vigilante, well, our God is an awesome God.

Actually, this whole thing caught me up short a little. In our creeds we say that God is all-powerful and can do whatever God chooses. But I must admit, I consider the bringing to life of fictional superheros impossible. I almost told Grey that God can’t make Spiderman real. In history, God certainly hasn’t chosen to manifest his awesome abilities in the bringing to fruition the imaginings of humans (although he’s given us amazing abilities in that regard). Can God, if God so chose, make Spiderman real? If he chose to answer this deeply faithful prayer of my son’s, what would an affirmative answer look like?

Jesus tells us that if we have faith the size of a mustard-seed, we will be able to move mountains. Grey’s faith is unbounded right now. There is no cynicism or experience telling him that certain kinds of prayers are likely to go unanswered, or to be answered in such a way that the answer does not seem to be the hand of God. He has not learned what sort of things it is that we pray for, and what sort of things seem as though they are outside the purview of the almighty.

I don’t have a pat answer on this. The limits I put on my own prayers are revealing to the limits I put on my faith. I have pared down what it is I believe God can do, at least in my subconscious, and pray accordingly.


Dear Lord,

Please let Red Spiderman be real. Thank you.

Mommy

Tea and undies - a man of faith
Tea and undies - a man of faith
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3 thoughts on “Dreampt of in my theology

  1. Sebestian was upset when God did not move our house to Hill Road. Crisis of faith.

    Some people think the most difficult thing in the Bible is the problem of Evil. I think it is the problem of God’s infinite power. If He can, why doesn’t He ________________?

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  2. I too used to think, when I was very little, that prayer was for telling God stuff, and asking Him for stuff. I came to the conclusion, around the age of 8, that if I asked for something specific, I would not get it. So I learnt to pretend not to want something, and if I succeeded in convincing myself that I didn’t, it would usually turn up.

    Then I grew up, and realised that prayer is not actually about asking for stuff, but is more about meditation, and meditation is an exercise in self discipline, and self awareness which, if you believe in God, allows you to be as one (in communion) with him for brief moments, or perhaps seconds. If you don’t believe in God as a separate being, then meditation is still a valuable process for strengthening one’s inner resources.

    Of course, I wouldn’t envy anyone trying to explain THAT to a 3 year old!!

    In the meantime, I’m going to be watching the sides of buildings closely for a while…

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    1. Sometimes in explaining something to a three year old, you find yourself needing to widen your horizons. This is one of the great blessings of parenting!

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