Wednesday, July 1, 2009

'Is God resting today?' she said

Driving down the mountain toward Vacation Bible School one afternoon, Ashlyn asked,

"Is God resting today?"

"Wow. That's a great question, Ashie-love. Um, Jesus says in the Bible that God is always working--listening to us, helping us, taking care of us. God doesn't really get to rest. He works every day."

"But He did rest one day!" Ashlyn cried. She must have thought I'd forgotten.

It should be said that infant Ashlyn was our angel baby, because she actually did the only two things babies really need to do: eat and sleep. She is still rather adept at this pair of simple pleasures.

She relishes her grub with commentary worthy of the top foodie magazines (at least the ones read by preschoolers). The first time she ate kiwifuit, at age two-and-change, she said, "Yum! Kiwi tastes like canteloupe and grapes." (And it does. I'd never thought of it, but I couldn't beat that description now.)

And even though she precedes them with tormented screaming and insanity, Ashlyn is our one child who still does naps. We've long known known that her crescendo of ferocity is just the storm beform the calm. Just this week, she confessed to her appalled sisters, "I do like naps."

Ashlyn plays hard, eats well, sings loud, fights strong. And she rests.

Was she looking for divine company now on this late afernoon, Someone as passionate, alive, brilliant and busy as she, Who also knows when it's time to stop?

"Yes, Ashie, you are right. The Bible also says He rested for a whole day when he was done making everything."

Exonerated, but no more satisfied than I with the paradox in the air, she paused. "Daddy, when is He going to rest again?"

Delighted, I laughed aloud.

"Daddy! When is He going to rest again?" She was urgent now, demanding to be taken seriously. And I was taking her seriously. It was just such a beautiful question that my joy at being related to her and the depth to which she had stumped me only knew how to come out as a giddy giggle.

"I don't know, Ashlyn. I'm just laughing because that is a very good question. It is such a good question that I think I will think about it for many days before I try to answer it. That is one of the best and hardest questions I have ever heard in my whole life. I'm very proud of you for asking it."

When will God rest again?

When we stop screwing up? When life stops giving us owies? When the human experiment is finally over and we're living out its happy ending in Paradise? Or will keeping Paradise Paradise take more God-work than ever with us on board, like a parent trying to keep the house tidy with a herd of small children on the loose?

Lord, you're the God of rest. You know--the One with the easy yoke and light burden. The One who made it a rule for us to chill every seventh day. (Great idea, BTW.)

You're the God of rest. But when will you get any Yourself?

Ashlyn and I want to know.


MoziEsmé said...

This is one of my favorite posts of yours - I love the questions!

Heide said...

So loved the last few blog posts. Very fun to have spent time with the Bennie girls and to hear what they have been cooking up. Brilliant question. We don't think of the good ones until we get young again.

Ansku said...

That's a great question. I want to know, too!