Our class fish died a few weeks ago. I was showing a visitor to the classroom the tank and introducing them to my one and only fish, George Michael (named after my idol of the same name), when we realized that the fish was lying on the bottom of the tank, at rest. The idol died Christmas 2016, and it was super tragic and sad for me. It still feels tragic and sad. When a young person I admire dies far to early due to demons, it’s sad. Upon realizing the death of my fish, it was sad to remember his namesake, and sad to remember the sweetness of this fish.
He was a very friendly fish. He gurgled at us, and came up to the tank to look at the humans, and happily ate his fish food as soon as we fed it to him. He was a platy, and he was about 2 years old.
I didn’t announce it to my class. I just couldn’t. I let it happen naturally, them noticing, “hey, where’s George?” and then we’d have an individual conversation. A few days ago this came up in a whole group setting from the children’s comments, and they had to talk about it.
Several of the children were talking about how it’s ok. George is in Heaven. And their deep faith and the sweetness of what they had to say about Heaven, God, and peace made a lot of feelings bubble up in my throat.
“Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.” Luke 18:17
My path is one of learning what this faith means. The kind of faith that a child has, a faith that is natural and unshakable.
In faith is a kind of understanding of what God is, for you. What does it mean to believe in God and the word of God?
I’m not an “accidental Christian.” I’m not a “born again” person. I’ve always believed and always had trust that there was a higher power more powerful than I could even imagine. What is new for me, is that my understanding of what God is has landed in my heart in a way I didn’t expect it to need to.
That kind of makes no sense.
I guess what I am saying is that I came to the place where I have no hang ups about what God means, because I’m okay with everyone having their own relationship with God. Whatever that means to them. To me, it means we are all in the same place. No matter what our vision of God is, it’s the same power and energy. And I’m okay with people thinking whatever they think and disagreeing with my thoughts.
To me, Hell is a place where you haven’t let yourself believe in a higher power. You’ve let yourself stay stuck and you haven’t tried to better yourself. Hell can be right here on earth amongst the living. I for one am not going to go there.
When I was young and had some early learnings about Christianity, I was taught at that if I didn’t believe in God in a certain way, I would go to Hell. And that anyone that didn’t believe that certain way went to Hell, too.
I wrestled with this, because God loves EVERYONE, right? Even the bad guys?
Which is what my children in class said.
“God loves everyone. Even the fish. Even the bad guys.”
Oh these little people. They are the best messengers!