I don't like God, but Jesus is OK

Marel, who's three, was head out the door. She had her princess jacket on, with one shoe off and one shoe on.

I picked her up. "Let's get your other shoe on."

As I held her and slipped her other shoe on, she said, matter of factly, "I don't like God."

"Why not?"

"Cause he's a boy."

"But God's not really a, hmm..."

Dad decides to change course rather than get in a theological discussion of God's gender. "Your brother Eli is a boy. You like him don't you."

"Yeah," she said. "But I don't like God."

"But if you don't like God, you might hurt his feelings." I'm grasping at straws here. My daughter is three and already giving up on God. I am totally unprepared.

"I just don't like him."

"OK, Marel." I say, giving her a kiss. "Time to go to church."

"Church, I love church!" she said and clapped her hands. We have dinner and kids programs at church every Wednesday. Whenever she sees the church, Marel starts yelling and point: "There's our church, there's our church."

Three hours later, Marel's back home, playing with blocks, while I write, trying to finish chapter 12 of the book.

Kathy calls from upstairs. "Marel, time for bed." Marel does not move. A minute or so later, I come out of my cave ( I mean office) and get her. I pick her up. "Come on honey, let's go see mommy."

Holding her close, I climb the stairs. "I don't like God," she says.

A light bulb goes off in my head. Marel is shy around new people. She'll jump off a pier into water without any fear, but people,especially if they are loud, sometimes wig her out.

"Marel," I ask. "Does God scare you?"

"Yeah," she says.

"Is he too big?"


"What about Jesus?"

"I like Jesus," she says. "He's so little."

"Jesus loves you," I tell her.

"You mean I didn't hurt his feelings? YEAH!" She wraps her arms in around my head and squeezes for all she's worth.

Jesus is small enough for my girl.


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