The Question

The Question

The night was still and the air light as the Jacksons settled down for dinner. The quietness of the streets, however, found no place within their home as little Melody buzzed from chair to chair with uncontained glee. Merrily she rehearsed the verses she had learned within the day’s study and having seen the effect of moving air upon her skirt as she spun along during recess she wondered why God would use something so simple to explain so many different subjects in the Bible. This wonderment she cherished from her lesson closed at noon and having found no answer since, she ran to the table and without introduction, reeled her inquiry to all that listened. Many were her questions and breathlessly she expressed them, all without breaks between. Her dad, seeing no immediate end to her queries, lifted her to his lap with the hand that wasn’t employed in covering her mouth. “Baby girl,” he began with a slight chuckle; “we can only help you in the answers as we hear the questions clearly. Why not ask us one question at a time,” concluded her father as he pawned Melody off to her mother who gestured earlier that she wanted to hold her. Her little face reflected serious mental action; she seemed to be mulling over thoughts bigger than herself. Long she stayed that way, cuddled in a coma within her mother’s arms, unable to pose her first question.

Mrs. Jackson watched Melody’s face contort into different expressions as the thoughts bounced about in her mind. She wanted so much to answer her many questions and remove her wonder but she knew she couldn’t.  Biblical themes are of eternal depths and her finite mind could not provide the answers that her four year old needed. “Mommy!” called Melody with tears trickling down her cheeks. “Why, is it so painful to think about Bible lessons,” added the youngster as her mother kissed her cheeks. Upon this inquiry Mr. Jackson looked over to Justin, their thirteen year old son, and cuing him to respond, he rose from his seat, kissed Melody and beckoned to his wife to follow him. Mrs. Jackson, was puzzled by this action of her husband but she trusted he knew the best method to answer Melody and did as he bade her.

Melody and Justin sat alone at the dinner table; mom and dad having retired to their room. Justin knew why his dad left him responsible for answering that question from his little sister. It was a question he had recently answered himself and seeing Melody’s pain he gladly sought to relieve her anxiety. He began his talks with her simply and in an illustrative way he explained things to her. He asked her if she understood all the things their parents did and when she answered no he asked her if she ever tried to understand them through her own efforts. To this she answered in the affirmative. “How many years older than you are mom and dad?’ asked Justin as he saw that Melody had settled down. “Thirty-two years each” returned the answer as Melody climbed his legs and sat down. Justin smiled at the answer and continued at his talks with her. He continued into telling her that that many years laid between the experiences of their parents and Melody herself and how those length of years contribute to them not being easily understood by her. That explanation seemed to have been clear enough for him to ask: “how many years older than you is God, Melody?” Amazement was the expression her face wore and when she shouted, “eternally older!” Justin smiled; for that was the answer he wanted. “Eternity lies between you and God Melody and I’m sure you remember mother’s explanation on how eternity is measured. That, little sister is why I believe Bible lessons are painful to think about; because we are handling thoughts sent from a God who lives where time is without an end. That’s another reason He is able to use natural things like wind, rain, beasts and nations to teach us many different lessons.”

Understanding was obvious as Melody leaped from Justin’s lap excitedly and resumed her lively recital of Job 12: 7 and 8 “But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:  Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee.” Hearing her reengaged in her nightly rounds Mr. and Mrs. Jackson left their room and joined their children again. They had listened in on Justin and as they gestured their approval to him Melody ran to them and unloaded all that she learned from her brother to them.

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