Friday, March 12, 2010
Elbow-to-elbow in the Sentra today, questions floated forward, a merciful diversion to savor before the inevitable backseat brawl.
"Daddy, do animals go to heaven?" asked Ashyln.
"I don't know, Ashie. A lot of people think so. The Bible doesn't talk about that at all." My real hunch is that whatever is on the other side will bear little resemblance to what we know here. I suspect that we will live as we never imagined possible, more ourselves and less all about ourselves than ever. And in the midst of that mind-blowing aliveness, the presence or absence of pets will be the least of our worries, if we have any worries at all.
"Hannah's daddy says no," Melía offered. More chutzpah than I've got, that Hannah's daddy, I thought, wondering if my waffling over the pet cemetery question was more about tact or timidity.
"But he doesn't know," said Brielle. She attacked the unsubstantiated rumor as eagerly as I slap scary chain emails with Snopes-linked replies-to-all.
"God knows," Ashlyn said.
"That's right, Ashie-lu," said I.
"God knows a lot of stuff, but he doesn't want to put it all in the Bible."
No joke, Ashie.
Somewhere in late childhood I came to realize that God was bigger than my little brand of Christianity, that all that could be said of the Divine was far more than any single denomination could articulate. Sometime later it became clear that God was bigger than Christianity itself. How could anyone see a Gandhi or a Dalai Lama and say such a soul was godless? Even more recent has been my acceptance that not even a tome as remarkable as the Bible can be the final word on a Being who ignites and inhabits universes.
OK, so maybe I'm a little bit slow.
Certainly, much slower than Ashie.