October 11, 2003


Aidie is now able to ask questions. Well, at least one question.

That is, when he isn't constantly reciting his entire list of known nouns. These must be said twice each time, e.g., "Nana Nana", "phone phone", "Mummy Mummy" "lie lie" (which is the glowing object hanging from the ceiling of each room, as he has trouble some ending consonants).

His question is related to nouns, because he is asking for identification of further objects. Today he was picking a scab from where Bubby had scratched him (something about being pickedup by the fur that she just doesn't like), the whole time saying "whazzaaaat whazzaaaat" over and over.

"What's that?" is clearly the precursor to the three-year-old mantra of "why? why?" This is going to be more difficult. It is must easier to identify objects than it is causality. The other thing about the three-year-old search for reasons is that it never goes away. (Neither does "whazzat" for that matter, though we just don't notice that we are assimilating that information.)

I think three-year-olds and 73-year-olds both have to know why. Neither is entirely happy with what we Orthodox call the apophatic nature of God. We don't want an unknowable God and particularly in the Western mindset there is the assumption that it is God's obligation to reveal Himself to us.

Why do people want a "reasonable" faith? Isn't this a bit of an oxymoron? I have colleagues who assume that unless the acts of God can be rationally understood and explained, they must be at best metaphorical or mythical.

God has given us more revelation about Himself than we can ever hope to understand. Understanding what we can is great. But it is wonderful to know that God is so much bigger than we can understand. That is why I have no trouble believing that bread really is Body and wine really is Blood, or that the universe really was spoken into being. Not metaphorically, but as really really as real can be. If anything those things are the real and what we see is the metaphor.

And at the end of the day, after God has answered "whatzzat?" I dont have to ask "but why?".

Posted by david at October 11, 2003 01:03 AM | TrackBack