As my 8 year old daughter listens attentively her teen brother talk about the Mitzvah (good deed, acts of human kindness) trip that his Sunday School class is organizing, (they will be cleaning out tombstones in our local Jewish Cemetery) I could anticipate that big questions will be comming in soon out of her always busy head.
-Mommy, can I visit G-d's tomb stone too? Where is it?
Usually, I am seldom out of words; I have answered this type of questions so many times in the past; but, why were the words not coming out with the same ease this time? Why is it that it is so more difficult to answer your own kid's questions?
I took a moment and said:
-Sweety, G-d does not need a tombstone because Hashem is everywhere!
Ups! yes you guessed what followed.
-Really? where is He? Show me mommy!
I took a breath in and this is what it came out of my mouth:
-Well, let me explain it to you with an example. So I took her outside the house and asked her to close her eyes. Then I asked her if she could feel the wind blowing. She said yes!
Can you hear the wind blowing the trees. She said yes. Then I asked her, do you need to see the wind to know is there?
-Absolutely not- she answered.
I then continued: Now, how can we show people we love them?
-Well -she said- I can give kisses, hugs; I can do something kind for someone.
I continue saying: Even thought we cannot see love, we can feel and see acts of love!
When trying to "see" and "feel" Hashem, all you have to do is to look for things that Hashem has created; let's call it "creations of G-d"; can you give me some examples?
- Yes! I get it. Hashem created animals, nature and human beings. So every time you look at them its like seing Hashem himself! That is why I love animals so much mommy!
I think she is off to a good start!
If you are looking for great and simple books to help you talk to your kids about concepts, such as God and love, I highly recommend to get the following books written by Rabbi Mark Gellman:
1. Does G-d have a big toe, voted as one of the best children's books in 1989 by The New York Times, Time magazine, The Los Angeles Times and People Magazine.
2. God's Mailbox, a book on modern midrashim (Jewish stories based on Jewish texts and rabbinical literature).
3. Always Wear Clean Underwear and other ways parent say they love you.