We were sitting in the big blue chair, our reading chair. It was late. We had just finished reading our final story for the night–a chapter from her preschooler’s bible.
Tori snuggled in close to me, obviously deep in thought.
“Mommy? Does everybody love me?”she asked.
“Well, I think pretty much everybody who knows you loves you,” I answered slowly.
“But what about the people I don’t know? Do they love me?”
I wasn’t sure how to answer that. But I decided to go with (what I think is) the truth.
“It’s hard to love someone you don’t know, honey. So probably not.”
“Oh,” she said, mouth turning down in a slight pout. ”But, mommy?”
“God loves everybody, right?”
I hugged her close. “Yes. He does.”
“Then I love everybody too. Everybody in the whole world.”
That was the end of it. She never brought it up again (and this was a couple of months ago). But I haven’t stopped thinking about it.
That last thing she said? That’s what religion, what Christianity, is supposed to be all about.
But that’s not what the “Christians” with the loudest voices, the most power, or the most influence preach.
Their doctrine seems to be more about hate. Sure, they say it’s the sin they hate, not the sinner. But that’s not how it comes across. And that’s definitely not the message that the masses receive.
Whether the topic is abortion, homosexuality, welfare, or any of a thousand other controversies, the words we, the people, hear are “We hate it. And if you are involved in those things, then we hate you.”
I think my preschooler has a better message.
God loves everybody, straight or gay, rich or poor, black, white, or brown, Christian, Hindu, Muslim or Buddhist.
God is love.
When the establishment starts thinking that way, or better yet, acting that way, I’ll take my daughter to church.
Until then, we’ll read our preschool bible at home, and try to practice what it preaches.