The other night Amie didn’t want me to turn off the light in her room. She usually has no problem falling asleep without it, so I asked why.
– Because I don’t feel secure.
She used that word, “secure.” I asked what makes her feel insecure.
– The evil spirits.
– Evil spirits?
– Yes, the evil spirits that God sends when he is angry with someone.
Okay, it took me a few seconds to get my bearings.
– Why would God be angry with you?
– No one knows, Mama! No one knows the reasons God has!
I asked where she got this idea and she said an equally six-year-old friend of hers had assured her of this. I said that I think that if there is a God, then that God has good reasons for everything he does, and that part of a reason being a good reason is that it is clear why it’s the reason. And even if she feels that she has done something very horrible that a God would feel needs punishing, then, anyway, I doubt that God sends evil spirits at all.
She assured me she hadn’t done anything really horrible. Still, she wanted the light on.
We are Universalist Unitarians. Or at least I am, and Amie goes to our Sunday School, but she is six so she’s not anything yet, and DH is an agnost. I understand she has some concept of God because we’ve talked about him/her/it before, she hears about God in Sunday School and from friends. That’s just fine. But this business of seemingly arbitrary or unfathomable punishment upset me a lot, or was it that she thought it was plausible? When DH and I make or enforce a rule, we always discuss with her the reasons for the rule. We’re big on rationality and reasonableness. I understand that we’re not the only influences in her life but this one, let me tell you, threw me for a loop alright!