And the Answer Is . . . by Diane Jordan

t may be because I am far removed from those days, but I find I miss those years when my children peppered me with their incessant questions.

Yes, there were days my eyes glazed over and I half listened to the non-stop chatter of my son, or I dreaded the hard questions my daughters invariably would ask.

Yet it was also those times that afforded me a window into their souls, and provided many an opportunity for some deep conversations.

This past week I relived some of those days as I sat in on our SICM Boys Day Out, and the Girls Day Out that followed the next day.

On their day out, the boys heard Pastor Dan speak about what it means to be a man of God as he relayed the story of David—a man after God’s own heart.

On Girls Day Out, the girls were reminded of what a faithful woman of God looks like as Michelle Kelley spoke about Queen Esther.

After each talk, the SICM team handed out pieces of paper. The team told the children to write down any questions they had about the Bible lesson, about Jesus, church, the Bible, faith—you get the idea.

After lunch SICM chose some of the questions and talked about what the Bible had to say.

Here is just a sampling of the questions the children wrote down.

•What if Jesus didn’t come to earth and didn’t die on the cross?

•What do I do to become a Christian?

•What should you do after you become a Christian?

•How do you be baptized?

•What are more ways to be a man?

•Why did Esther do it [go to the king] if it was so dangerous?

•How old is God?

•How old is the Bible?

•Who wrote the Bible?

•How did the Bible get to us?

•Is there anything God cannot do?

•What will God do to Satan when Jesus comes back?

•What if all of the Bible stories don’t really exist?

•Can sin ever go away?

•Is there a doggie heaven?

•How do we know that people we lost are in heaven?

•Is it a sin not to celebrate Christmas?

There's a popular story, which has probably reached legendry status by now, about a pastor who was giving a children’s sermon.

He started, ”I’m going to describe something, and I want you to raise your hand when you know what it is. I’m thinking of something that lives in trees and eats nuts …”

No hands went up. “It can be gray or brown and it has a long bushy tail.” The children looked around the room at each other, but still no one raised a hand.

“It chatters and sometimes it flips its tail when it’s excited.”

Finally one little boy shyly raised his hand. The pastor breathed a sigh of relief and said, “Okay, Michael. What do you think it is?”

“Well,” said the boy, “it sure sounds like a squirrel, but I guess the answer’s supposed to be Jesus.”

I am grateful that our children have a safe place to ask questions.

I am grateful that they know people who take their questions seriously.

I am grateful for parents and all the other adults I know who are helping to lay spiritual foundations in the lives of children.

And I’m grateful that the answer is always Jesus.