The other night, I told my daughter that I pray for her. She said she prays for me, too, especially in hard times, but she is not so sure about whether or not God is real. And, she added, she does not understand the whole Jesus-God thing.
"It's like this. Can you see bacteria?"
"Well, you can with a microscope," she answered.
"Well, now we can, but before there were microscopes, could people see bacteria?"
"No," she said.
"How small are they? Show me with your hands." My daughter held up two fingers pinched together. She complained that she could not show how small they were--being way smaller than her hands could manage.
"Exactly!" I said, "But are they real?"
I told her God is like that, but on the other end of the size spectrum. He is so big, you cannot see Him. So huge, you cannot use your hands to show how much. I told her I really didn't believe in God having a human-like form, a persona, or gender, but that the He, as we have to use that term, is a force, an entity, so hard to describe and so amazing that He sent something we could all relate to, a man named Jesus, who showed us how to love each other and get along. So, of course God is real, I said, God is just greater than what we can fathom.
Once in a while, I feel like I get things right as a parent. This was one of my better moments. I am striving to teach her how to do the hardest thing: believe.