Were Adam and Eve cave people?
That’s what I was asked by a kid at church recently. Let me back up. At Kid Connect we believe it’s important to involve kids in the learning process, so we encourage them to ask questions. We don’t want to be that teacher calling out the standard fill-in-the-blank questions looking for “Sunday School answers.” So, throughout the worship experience kids have the opportunity to write down questions. We take those questions and the inspiration leaders (our large group teachers) address those questions in the teach time. As you can imagine we get some awesome questions. Teachers have three options when they read a question–they can answer it themselves, challenge the kids to come up with the answer, or they can put it in the “Expert Box” for me to answer later.
As you can imagine, I get some very interesting questions. And so it was that last weekend during one of our venues our inspiration leader pulled out a question and read “Were Adam and Eve cave people?” There was a moment of awkward silence. Then she looked up, smirked at me, and laughed “Well, that one’s going in the Expert Box.”
Thanks a lot.
Here are some of the other questions I’ve been asked:
- Did God know Santa?
- How do we love God with all our heart, mind, and soul, when we’ve never met him?
- How was the “big bang” made?
- How many people die from hunger in 24 hours?
- Why did the women not get treated fairly?
- Why are people mean?
- Can I beat up people?
- What does God look like?
- How do I get people to stop hitting me?
- How does hope spread?
- Can God stop school?
- Why didn’t God just wipe out sin instead of making Jesus die?
- Why are some churches so big and fancy and some don’t have a playground?
- What do you do when there are a lot of people annoying you?
- When you get baptized is it like falling back into Jesus’ arms?
- How do you tell someone you are afraid of about Jesus?
- Why do people think it’s all about money?
- Why do people bully?
- Does God have a Holy Spirit in himself
So, it’s time for you to get involved! What questions have kids asked you? Or, what questions do you have that you’ve been too afraid to ask? And how would you answer these questions?
I tell them of you, my love
of your beauty which haunts my dreams
of your warmth which awakens my possibilities
I try to describe how I first fell in love with you
how we met in a crowded city
filled with a thousand new memories
and how, in a moment,
you touched me
and your fingerprints have forever been
tattooed on my heart
words tumble from my lips
searching to describe your children
stunning, intelligent, loving, hopeful
with those deep, brown eyes which hypnotize me
I tell them how I am coming to live with you
packing everything I can fit in a few battered suitcases
flying halfway around this spinning planet
to share life with you
because I love you
because I love the God who led me to you
I speak all of this, my love
with all the joy and compassion and love in my heart
And often they smile at me
wish me well
but secretly they wonder
how I could love you
how I could hold you dear
and wish for a life with you
And it pains me to tell you this,
but too often their minds have been clouded by perceptions they have been given of you
by so many others who have not known you as I have
they have learned to mistrust you
to hold you at arms length
sometimes to hate you,
but always to fear you
And they fear for me—
for my life with you
they are afraid that instead of cherishing me
you will hurt me
leave me lonely or in pain
But do not fear, my love
still I will come to you.
For once, many years ago
I feared you too
but some divinely ordained plan took me to you
and once I had met you,
looked into your heart
I fell hopelessly in love
and I learned how wrong all my prejudices had been
and I hold out hope for the day when they too
will share my love
My job is simple
I wake up and grab a spoon
after downing my shredded wheat
I wipe the spoon clean
and step outside
in front of me is an expanse of sand
I bend down
dig in my spoon
and gather it up
moving it to the giant
behind my house
one teaspoon at a time
I move an ocean of sand
months on end
I pour into the hourglass
Until one day it is full
and the god I have constructed
knocks it over
and points to a new timepiece
and I grab my spoon
and begin my journey once more
But at night when the rain clinks on my roof
I look out and I wonder
What if this dry, grainy mission
was my own invention?
And I dream of a God who calls me to
Play with him on the beach
Instead of hauling sand all day
And I wonder if there’s more truth
in my dream than my reality.
Tell me there’s more than this,
that there’s hope for me.
I’ve been poured in concrete,
no matter how I struggle
I’m still in the same place
longing for you
waiting to see your face again
but the distance is dissolving my memory of you,
and I find myself trapped in this endless moment
clinging to wisps of smoke from your fire
longing for the passion which once filled me
I’m holding onto trinkets
symbols which are cheapened without your presence
and I feel cheap
hoping like this—
waiting for you,
knowing I’m powerless to
conjure up your love
like a witch doctor who has found out the utter
uselessness of my spells,
yet still reciting them
longing for the magic to
wide open spaces
in my soul
walking through an
aisle of trees
on a path of stone
you could catch a
glimpse of my naked soul
laying my Isaac on the altar
weeping for my
hopes, dreams, plans
I was giving to God.
and then feeling so
wide open spaces
in my soul
and then He gave me
my Isaac back
why is it that
after my mountain-top experience
I keep falling back into the
slimy ditches of this life
cluttered by all these
pieces of me
I’d rather lose
how do I get back to
wide open spaces in my soul
The following is a poem I wrote a while ago. It is dedicated to the children who inspired the Invisible Children movement, for more information check out http://www.invisiblechildren.com.
the soft thud of your footfalls haunt my dreams
i hear your calloused heals hit the dusty paths of beaten down earth
i watch as your thin body balances a small plastic bag in one hand
[contents: one tattered strip of cloth; translation: blanket]
while gently resting your other arm on my shoulder
[you do not notice i am there]
i smell the pungent odor of sweat mingled with sewage as we
we must be nearing the town
as we draw closer a smiles rises across your beautiful, sorrow- scarred face
in your eyes i watch the moonlight dance as you begin to stretch
your clenched body
soon i hear the litany of drumbeats calling out to us
and then i hear you laugh—
God, what a beautiful sound
laugh, as you lift your arm off my shoulder and run toward the glowing fire
[i rush forward after you]
i watch as you join thousands of faces—
[trying to disguise the fear and sorrow i see still lurking there]
i watch as you dance in the street—
rhythmically beating your hips to the bass line that blares from some dollar-store radio
[checking my pockets, i wonder why i don’t have anything to offer you. i sat down to eat with you only once today]
slowly the sun fades away into complete darkness
[and i push forward, put my arm around your shoulders]
and we begin to hurry towards the small basement nearby
[the size of my one bedroom apartment]
already our friends have arrived
121 of us
[i try to picture all of you in my apartment—sleeping on counter tops and bookshelves]
you are expert clowns fitting children in a tiny car
i watch as you carefully unpack your plastic bag,
climb atop a pillar,
stretch out your blanket,
and close your eyes
[you don’t see me, but]
i stand by and listen till your breathing slows to sleep.
lean down and kiss your head goodnight.
and i stand by
. . . God, i know you care for this child . . .
and i stand by
praying that i may ward off the demons that haunt you
and i stand
they tell me that you are invisible.
that because your family bore you into another place, far away,
because you’re poor,
because you’re African,
that you are invisible.
and i know they’re right.
but i want to know why that’s true.
i want to know if i’m invisible too
if when i stand
with my dimes instead of dollars
my prayers instead of peace
if i’m invisible to you.
tomorrow we will repeat this pilgrimage.
you will haunt my dreams as we travel that long, dusty road
if i am invisible to you, i want you to know
you are not invisible to me.
we’d been living without
faded away like the mists that cloaked Eden’s garden
that day paradise evaporated, we buried hope
hid it in the darkest cave
in the pursuit of survival
and then he entered our wilderness
journeyed with us through our desert
and we began to dig
to retrieve that forgotten treasure
hope tiptoed into our vision
began to color our world
and then, like a cheating fox
it snuck into our souls
that dark Friday
they nailed up a man
but we knew it was our hope
hanging on that cross beam
we wept as despair crawled back into our souls
and we took it down
and buried hope that day
convinced we’d never have the courage to retrieve it again
we locked it up
until we heard it creeping up behind us
wrapping its warm arms around us
filling every place of fear and emptiness inside us
and we were lost
in the mystery of it all
how hope climbed out of that grave
and relentlessly stalked us down
captivated us with the sense that it would never leave again
never again hide in the ground
when the busyness that consumes my life
is hiccupped by some strange interruption,
I hear you whispering to me—
Sometimes I hear your voice and I smile
but often I blink back tears
hating myself for having ever forgotten
for letting silly distractions steal you from me
and sometimes I try to push your voice away
too comfortable in my self-made world
to want your memory creeping in
interrupting my plans
and you call me back
and the memories wash over me in waves
and I am all alone in an ocean of
“I will remember.”
I dream of you
with your round, brown eyes
which are always
looking past the sand in your hands
I wish you could focus
on the well in your midst.
I dream of your children
embracing life with both hands
with the eagerness & trust of children
towards a peace you can’t
I dream of your
when you learn of a love that
overcomes all you’ve been
You, my sisters and brothers,
may not now see what I see
but I will dream it for you.
walking through the world
bodies are smiling
faces are laughing
“how are you?”
and lips are always responding
but tired eyes
discredit the affirmation
minds are so weary
trying to order the chaos
can no longer conceal
of the effort
are searching for a
are filled with their all-important
seeking the Truth
who declares a