Yesterday I had a fascinating conversation with Oakley. Often she’s quiet and reserved, like a normal 14 year old, and I do well to get a couple of words out of her. And that’s on a good day. But not yesterday. Yesterday was a great day. Yesterday she wanted to talk. We freely discussed a myriad of things, including how politics can twist religion and why we traditionally refer to God as He. You know, the normal stuff you talk about while walking the dog. (It was a long walk.) The entire conversation was captivating, but this in particular, stood out:
Oakley: “I really like how Glennon refers to God as She. Do you think God is a woman?”
Me, pulling out the old Socratic trick for when you don’t know something: “Hmm…what do you think?”
Oak: “Yeah, I think so because Mary gave birth to Jesus.”
Me: “Ooh, I like that. Or maybe God is a Divine Being with both male and female qualities, with all the masculine and feminine characteristics.”
Oak: “I don’t know. But I do know that I want to be a thinking Christian like Glennon Doyle Melton and Travis Garner.”
Speechless, I just smiled at her with both my face and heart. I did’t know what to say, what to add yesterday. But today I do. I told Oak that I’m proud of her for being brave enough to ask difficult questions, wrestle with her faith, find her truth and not simply accept someone else’s version (yes, even mine) as definitive.
Me: “So, you want to be a thinking Christian? Oak, you already are.”