“Who would win in a fight; the Devil or Superman?”
“Who is the Devil?”
These are some of the questions I have fielded lately from my five-year-old. He is intensely interested in God and the Devil, and how they fit into his reality. He wants to know where we go when we die; where Heaven is; and the biggie, if God is so good why are there bullies?
In part, these questions stem from the Christian preschool he goes to, but I think it has a lot to do with his essential nature as well.
This kiddo is a thinker.
The problem lies in the fact I am also a thinker, and therefore must be very aware of how I answer these questions. Belief for me is a fragile thing, based on years of thought and reading and more thought. I have gone through my existential crisis and have, through tears and terrors, arrived at my own belief system.
It does not, necessarily, encompass any one religious thought.
But. I can’t explain that to my preschooler. I can’t talk to him about faith and the act of choosing belief (because all belief is a choice). I can’t speak to him about the fallacies inherent in all religious systems; the tension between what is said and what is acted; the irony of picking and choosing and pressing on others a hodgepodge of thought.
No. What he wants to know is where God lives, and I find that my answer is simple: Heaven.
Where is Heaven?
Another dimension. This is a concept he understands from his video games.
What is the Devil?
The biggest bully of them all.
My husband believes in God, a traditional Christian God.
I believe in a bigger and grander being, something that cannot be identified with a pronoun.
My husband’s version is the one I tell my son. God is love. God is good. Where is God? In your heart.
Is it right? I don’t know. Maybe one day he is going to call us out for “lying” to him about the existence of God, Devil, Heaven… and he will be right to do so. And we will have a conversation then about belief and faith. But until then, the concepts that are black and white, good and evil, are those concepts he understands.
And, by the way, his conclusion is that God is totally stronger then Hulk, but only because God has access to Captain America’s original serum.