Jesus and Child“Does Mister God love us truly?”

“Sure thing,” I said. “Mister God loves everything.”

“Oh,” she said. “Well then, why does he let things get hurt and dead?” Her voice sounded as if she felt she had betrayed a sacred trust, but the question had been thought and it had to be spoken.

“I don’t know,” I replied. “There’re a great many things about Mister God that we don’t know about.”

“Well then,” she continued, “if we don’t know many things about Mister God, how do we know he loves us?”

I could see that this was going to be one of those times, but thank goodness she didn’t expect an answer to her question, for she hurried on:

“Them pollywogs, I could love them till I bust, but they wouldn’t know, would they? I’m million times bigger than they are and Mister God is million times bigger than me, so how do I know what Mister God does?”

She was silent for a little while. Later I thought that at this moment she was taking her last look at babyhood. Then she went on.

“Fynn, Mister God doesn’t love us.” She hesitated. “He doesn’t really, you know, only people can love. I love Bossy, but Bossy don’t love me. I love the pollywogs, but they don’t love me. I love you, Fynn, and you love me, don’t you?”

I tightened my arm about her.

“You love me because you are people. I love Mister God truly, but he don’t love me.”

It sounded to me like a death knell.

“Damn and blast,” I thought. “Why does this have to happen to people? Now she’s lost everything.” But I was wrong.

She had got both feet planted firmly on the next ping-stone.

“No,” she went on, “no, he don’t love me, not like you do, it’s different, it’s millions of times bigger.”

I must have made some movement or noise, for she leveled herself upright and sat on her haunches and giggled. Then she launched herself at me and undid my little pang of hurt, cut out the useless spark of jealousy with the delicate sureness of a surgeon.

“Fynn, you can love better than any people that ever was, and so can I, can’t I? But Mister God is different. You see, Fynn, people can only love outside and can only kiss outside, but Mister God can love you right inside, and Mister God can kiss you right inside so it’s different. Mister God ain’t like us; we are a little bit like Mister God, but not much yet.”

It seemed to me to reduce itself to the fact that we were like God because of some similarities, but God was not like us because of our differences. Her inner fires had refined her ideas, and like some alchemist she had turned lead into gold. Gone were all the human definitions of God, like Goodness, Mercy, Love, and Justice, for these were merely props to describe the indescribable.

“You see, Fynn, Mister God is different from us because he can finish things and we can’t. I can’t finish loving you because I shall be dead millions of years before I can finish, but Mister God can finish loving you, and so it’s not the same kind of love, is it? Even Mister Jether’s love is not the same as Mister God because he only came here to make us remember.”

The first salvo was enough for me; it all needed a bit of thinking about, but I wasn’t going to be spared the rest of her artillery.

“Fynn, why do people have fights and wars and things?” I explained to the best of my ability.

“Fynn, what is the word for when you see it in  a different way?”

After a minute or two scrabbling about, the precise phrase she wanted was dredged out of me, the phrase, point of view.

“Fynn, that’s the difference. You see, everybody has got a point of view, but Mister God hasn’t. Mister God has only points to view.”

At this moment my one desire was to get up and go for a long, long walk. What was this child up to? What had she done? In the first place, God could finish things off, I couldn’t. I’ll accept that, but what did it mean? It seemed to me that she had taken the whole idea of God outside the limitation of time and placed him firmly in the realm of eternity.

What about this difference between a point of view  and points to view? This stumped me, but a little further questioning cleared up the mystery. Points to view was a clumsy term. She meant viewing points. The second salvo had been fired. Humanity in general had an infinite number of points of view, whereas Mister God had an infinite number of viewing points. When I put it to her this way and asked her if that was what she meant, she nodded her agreement and then waited to see if I enjoyed the taste. Let me see now. Humanity has an infinite number of points of view. God has an infinite number of viewing points. That means that. -God is everywhere. I jumped.

Anna burst into peals of laughter. “You see,” she-said, “you see?” I did, too.

“There’s another way that Mister God is different.”, We obviously hadn’t finished yet. “Mister God can know things and people from the inside, too.We only know them from the outside, don’t we? So you see, Fynn, people can’t talk about Mister God from the outside; you can only talk about Mister God from the inside of him.”

Another fifteen minutes or so were spent in polishing up these arguments and then, with an “Isn’t it lovely?” she kissed me and tucked herself under my arm, ready for sleep.

About ten minutes later: “Fynn?”


“Fynn, you know that book about four dimensions?”

“Yes, what about it?”

“I know where number four is; it goes inside me.

I’d had enough for that night, and said with all the firmness and authority I could muster,

“Go to sleep now. That’s enough talking for tonight. Go to sleep or I’ll paddle your bottom.”

She made a little screech, looked at me, and grinned and squirmed in closer to me.

“You wouldn’t” she said sleepily. (Mr. God, This is Anna, by Fynn, 1974, Ballantine Nonfiction)

Quite a bit of food for thought in those few lines isn’t there?  Allow these words to go beyond the surface level of the mind. Allow them to go into the recesses of your heart. Allow them to go into that “fourth dimension.” Anna died before she reached the age of 8. But I believe she had a fuller life in those few years than most Christians experience in a full lifetime.

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