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Grand Rapids, MI

Embarking Blog

...on the journey towards restoration of all things

Walmart Bathroom Theology


Gum, Geckos, and GodSetting:  Walmart bathroom; 3 year old in one stall, 5 year old two down – so they’re yelling.


3 year old:  [Singing Jesus Loves Me modified]  Jesus doesn’t love me; Jesus doesn’t love me. 

5 year old:  That’s not right.  Jesus loves you.  He always does.

3 year old:  I don’t like Jesus.  He won’t let me touch these blue walls, so I don’t like him. [Pauses]  Jesus, it’s me!  I’m sorry Jesus.  Jesus, it’s me!  I’m on da toilet!!” [Now to mommy] I just talked to Jesus, mommy.  Just for a minute.  He’s upstairs.

5 year old:  Jesus isn’t upstairs, he’s in the sky.

3 year old:  Not in the blue sky.

5 year old:  Yes he is.

3 year old:  In the blue sky!?

5 year old [yelling]: YES!!

3 year old:  How does he fly?

5 year old:  He doesn’t.

3 year old:  The angels fly.

5 year old:  Yes they do.

3 year old:  With their wings.

(And it went on… but who can ever re-create these things?)


This happened a few years ago when my now 8 year old was 5 and my now 5 year old was 3.  I was reminded of this when I read the first few lines of a new book by an old friend (well, he's not old... we were just friends while I was in college and he getting his doctorate) called Gum, Geckos, and God.  It's a book about God, theology, and questions that James S. Spiegel wrote from conversations with his kids and interaction with his philosophical mind.


I'm going to tell you some more about it in the next post or two, along with maybe one or two kid stories... but first a little about its author, James S. Spiegel (click to read his bio).  Jim is a Philosophy professor at Taylor University, a wonderful thinker, and a mean basketball player (at least he used to be).  You can read the official bio, which you should do... but I'm going to write a few other rememberances.  Jim and I played in a band back in college days, and I was often inspired by Jim's wit and his intelligence.  I remember playing with him at the Michigan State Student Union, at a local bar, at a retreat, and at our church.  I remember Jim getting mad at me for some bad decisions I was making with some friends who were a negative influence.  Jim is a thinker and a lover.  He loves God and he loves his family and he loves his friends.  Jim also loves music, philosophy, and certain sports and TV shows.  


Honestly, I haven't seen Jim since a buddy of ours got married several years back, but I have fond memories of jamming late into the night to the strange mix of Cranberries and Classic Rock.  I've only started the book, but I'll be participating in a Blog Tour, and I hope you'll not only read along, but get the book.   It's funny, helpful, and serious all at the same time.  If you have kids, you'll certainly recognize some of the great theological questions of 5 year olds from your own experience and Jim takes the deep philosophical and theological issues to bear and tries to put them into concepts that even a child can understand.  What a concept.

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