Friday, July 23, 2010

Is Heaven in the Sky?

In the past, I have shared several dialogues between me and my son.

But today, I will share a dialogue between me and my five year old daughter.

My five year old attends the same day care that my son once did. The facility is quite good with the exception (in my view) that they will try to indoctrinate your child. After all, the daycare facility is run by a mega-church. What can one expect?

Now my daughter is finally starting to ask the tough questions about God. This day surly came faster than I thought.

While riding down the highway my daughter asks out of the blue:

“Daddy, is Heaven in the sky?”

“No sweetie. Heaven isn't up there in the sky. We've sent astronauts into space, we fly planes in the air all the time, and we have satellites floating around way up there in space. No one has bumped into Heaven up there. Pass the sky and you end up among the moon and stars. So between the ground and space where the sky is, we haven't found Heaven.”

I could have told her that Heaven was the sky. But I think the heart of her question was really, “Is God's home up there in the sky?”

Whether you're a theist or not, can you honestly say that God is sitting up there somewhere in the sky?

Anyhow . . .

My daughter thought about my answer for a moment. Then she asked,

“Well, what are all those clouds in the sky for?”

I guess she was wondering why clouds needed to float majestically in the Heavens above if Heaven isn't really “up there”.

“They aren't really for anything, exactly." I said. "The clouds are in the sky because water turns into a gas when it gets hot.”

“A gas?” She seemed to know what “gas” was, but was caught off guard with the idea that water could exist as a “gas”.

Time to introduce the fact that matter can exist in several phases.

“Yeah . . . you know what an ice cube is, right?”

“Yeah, but I don't like ice cubes. They hurt my hands and lips and I can't crunch them with my teeth. They hurt because they are so cold.”

“Right. Well, when water is really, really cold it turns into something like a rock. It becomes solid. When water is not so cold, we see it the usual way-- as a liquid.

“Daddy . . . what's a liquid?”

“Anything that is “wet” like water is a liquid. The juice you love to drink all the time is liquid like water.”

I paused for a moment, then continued.

“And if water gets hot, it turns to gas and floats into the air. As the gas keeps going up and up, it starts to cool again and forms the clouds you see. When a cloud gets too big and can't hold any more water, it releases that water to the ground. You know that that's called?”

“Rain!”

“Exactly!”

Then my daughter says, “I know that when I drink too much water, I have to pee. Just like the clouds when they hold too much water and start to rain!”

Hey . . . she came up with that one all on her own. That "pee" thing wasn't my idea.

Then she asked why she couldn't hold her pee forever. You know, it's such an inconvenience to stop playing just to go pee, after all.

So my son and I started to explain the purpose of a bladder.

And then that question turned into another conversation all together.

Notice that I did not tell my daughter that Heaven did not exist. I only told her the truth about the sky. We have not found Heaven up there and the clouds come from a cycle of evaporation and condensation. Have you heard any reports of Heaven being found in the sky?

This is no different than what I did with my son. I simply gave him facts and tried to encourage him to think for himself. I'm now doing this for my daughter.

No crime or criticism can be found in that.

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By the way, below is an interesting graphic of "the Heavens" as depicted by the website Our Amazing Planet.

Earth's Atmosphere Top to Bottom
[Source: Telescopes for Beginners for OurAmazingPlanet.com]


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