Lilly and Mylah have an ongoing debate that reflects religious debates found in the world. Lilly pointed to her chest one day and said that God was in her heart. Mylah pointed at her round little belly and said God was in her tummy. I don’t believe she meant to start a debate, but she did. Lilly jumped in to say that God was not in her tummy; He was in her heart!!
Mylah defended her beliefs, as only a two-year-old can, and insisted God was in her tummy, not her heart! I told the girls they were both right. God was in our hearts, tummies, feet, arms, heads, and anywhere else He wanted to be. They settled down to dinner, but the argument resurfaced several times during the next few days.
I kept Mylah on Thursday and Friday, and she revisited the subject as we settled into bed on Thursday evening. She likes to play with my hair while she’s drifting off to sleep, and she was twisting and turning it with vigor after we read her new library book. I detached myself from her grip, turned off the light, and snuggled next to her. She said quietly, “God IS in my tummy.” I told her I knew He was, and she said she wanted Him to stay there. She was looking for an ally in the debate with her older sister. I told her again that God could be anywhere He wanted to be, and she drifted off to sleep.
Christians in this world are just like Lilly and Mylah when it comes to details, doctrines, and denominations. I’m right; you’re wrong. I know God better than you do. God’s on my side! God is this! God is that! The girls little arguent was cute, but similar exchanges between adults are not so endearing. They irritate and leave me wondering, “What ever happened to love one another?” If we would put as much effort into loving God and loving our neighbors as we do into arguing about Him, the world would see a new dynamic that would make them to want a loving relationship with God instead of a place to hide from His fighting children.
The trouble with doctrines and denominations is that they replace relationship. I am amazed at the venom and violence that grow from the lines we draw around God. I suppose it’s human nature to want to corner the market on God, but Christ came to change our nature. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we allowed God to be who and where He wants rather than who and where we want Him? Conflict over creeds will exist as long as there are two churches standing in this world. Heaven is a place of unity and peace, and I do wish the same were true of the body of Christ.
God is love, and walking in His kingdom is about loving one another in a way that makes the world see the disciples Jesus describes in John 13:35.
“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other.” (The Message)
Love changes everything if given the chance 🙂