Rechargable Batteries

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Although you see the world different from me,
Sometimes I can touch upon the wonders that you see.
“Child of Mine” – Carole King

And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 18:3 (NIV)

Anyone who has a child can tell you that they can be the source of both profound pride as well as profound frustration. But have you ever had a moment where they simply touch you to the core with a profound insight?

As a family owned funeral home, the day came when my daughter came into the funeral home, saw an occupied casket that was open, and then looked at me and asked “what are we doing?” Taking a deep breath, I began…

Drawing upon my many years of catechism, Sunday school, going to church, classes on death and dying, etc., I explained that we are two parts: a body you can see and a spirit you cannot. And when that spirit leaves our body, the person dies and it becomes our duty to care for the body that remains.

Patiently she listened but I could tell that she was confused. At length, her expression suddenly changed and with complete confidence, she looked at me and said “Dad, we are batteries.”

Needless to say, it was now my turn to look at her with confusion. She goes on to tell me that batteries have a part you can see and a part you cannot. You know the part you cannot see is there because the battery does things and when that unseen part is gone, the battery does not look any different but we now call it “dead”.

I was dumbfounded. No theology degrees nor years of study were involved, no debates over religious opinions or interpretations were had, just a simple analogy from the mind of a child.

It was in that moment that I remembered the verse from Matthew. Perhaps to really live, laugh and love through life and through death, we need to see the world more as they do and not with all the drama and complexities we tend to add as adults.

Until then, I dread the day she finds out about “rechargeable batteries”….

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