Friday, March 09, 2007

Spring is finally here: Anna with a Blooming Daffodil

Talking About Death

Anna and I were driving around listening to the new Norah Jones record when Anna said, “Oh no, Dad… that’s sad.” I hadn’t really been paying attention to anything but the road when she said that, but I rewound the track a little and heard that blusey, rhaspy voice sing the words, “Someday we all have to die.” Again Anna said, “That’s sad… that we all die.”

Some people would say I was wrong to let my child hear lyrics like that… that the idea of death is something a child shouldn’t be faced with thinking about, but I don’t really think that’s true. One of Dostoyevsky’s characters called Myshkin said this about children: “Children can be told anything –anything. Nothing should be concealed from children on the pretext that they are little and it is too early for them to understand. What a miserable and unfortunate idea! Grown-up people do not know that a child can give exceedingly good advice even in the most difficult case.” I pretty much believe this to be true, and so on the way home from Thursday School, my three-year-old and I had a conversation about death.

I told her that Norah Jones was right and that every single person will one day be dead, but that it doesn’t have to be a sad thing for everyone. We talked about Nan’s husband Bob who passed away last August and Anna got excited as she remembered and said, “Dad, Bob went to heaven to be with Jesus!” We talked about how everyone who believes in Jesus and loves Him will be in heaven forever where there will never be sadness or tears again. To which Anna asked, “And no more spankings Dad?” We talked about how this life is just the very beginning of an amazing forever waiting on us and that death is just the last little moment before we get to see Jesus face to face.

Psalm 49:15 says, “But God will redeem my life from the grave. He will surely take me to Himself.” This is the hope of our faith. This is the truth that can flood a heart with peace in the last moments of life and the hard moments of life… that no matter how bad things get down here, there’s heaven waiting and that death is nothing but a passage, because as Christ was raised from the dead, so will I be raised from the dead to real and everlasting life in heaven… Everyone has to die, but anyone who wants to can get up out of their grave and be taken to God for an eternity of true life and ceaseless love with no more sadness, no more tears, and yes, no more spankings.


codyblair said...

8 days...

keri said...

I love this. I'm a friend of the Hulls and found your blog from their blog. Anyway, we also have been talking about death with our 3 year old. We went to the funeral home tonight to visit the family of a dear friend of ours who died this week and on the way into the building, Rachel asked, "Mommy, is Jesus going to be in here?" We have had some pretty deep discussions about death the last couple of days and at first, I was concerned to go into too much detail with her, the more we talked, the more beautiful her understanding of it all. I love your words about this life being just the beginning of a wonderful forever. That's a great way to put it. Thank you.

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