Why is it that kids ask the toughest questions at an inconvenient time?
I was driving through our city, my girls strapped into their car seats, when the older one popped up with, “Mommy, what’s that big lawn with the rocks on it?’
A big lawn with rocks on it? In the middle of a city?
Then I realized we were driving past the local cemetery.
Oh, great. How do you explain death to a four-year-old?
I had made it a policy in rearing my kids to answer any questions they asked, at least at a level they could comprehend. So when I got asked, “Where did I come from?” I was all set. Well, you see, God made you by taking a little, itsy bitsy piece of Mommy and a little, itsy bitsy piece of Daddy and putting them together inside Mommy. And you grew and grew until you were big enough to come out.
And that was sufficient to quell curiosity at least for a while.
But talking about the end of life is a different matter. Coming into the world is a cause for joy. The idea of death, of leaving earth, can be scary, especially to a child.
I told her I would answer her question when we got home. It gave me a bit of time to prepare.
I sat her down in the living room and explained that she was more than just a body. There is a part of her that thinks, that feels emotion. She is a soul, and God wants that part of her to go to Heaven to be happy with Him forever. Bodies, though, are left behind and buried under the rocks on that lawn. Someday, at the end of time, our bodies will rejoin our souls in Heaven.
She got all of that, but then a plethora of questions about Heaven arose. What does it look like? Will her friends be there? Will she get to play?
I managed to field her inquiries. But then she had a question that threw me for a loop.
Are there potties in Heaven?
Okay, what exactly does happen at the resurrection of the dead? We know Jesus ate after He rose from the dead. (see Luke 24:41-43) Will our resurrected bodies have the same digestive functions they do now?
I doubt this is a question that keeps theologians awake at night. Yet, somehow, I have difficulty imagining Heaven with a sewer system. My guess is that we won’t need to eat, and even if we do eat, latrines won’t be necessary.
But because my daughter was too young to understand all this, I told that if she needed a potty in Heaven, God would provide one.
After all, eternity would be a bit long to hold it.