“Tata, why did God make bullies?”

Euan, Elena and Tata Ashlee
Euan, Elena and Tata Ashlee

Last night it was my great joy to babysit my niece and nephew during bed time. It’s been several months since I’ve done the the teeth-brushing, story-reading and lullaby routine.

After a thunderous rendition of Dr. Seuss‘s Oh The Place You’ll Go, we trooped up stairs. My goodness, that book is inspiring!

I lived with my sister, her husband and two kids for three years before getting married. I was there for potty training, Dora the Explorer and baby faces turning into big kid faces. But the best moments were always at bedtime. The snuggling, the songs and the quiet conversations.

Last night, when the lights were out, my niece, in a hushed and very serious voice, asked me “Tata, why did God make bullies?”

She is four. And she was essentially asking me one the most basic faith questions of Christianity: Why does God allow evil to exist?

Children don’t just passively learn their Sunday School lessons. They listen, watch how the world works and test what we tell them against what they observe. Then they ask very difficult questions that leave us gaping like fish out of water.

So I tried my best to explain free will and how God created everyone but he also gave each one of us the choice to do good or do evil. Before she asked me the question, I would’ve assumed free will was a subject much too complicated for a four year old. But she proved me wrong.

I love those nighttime conversations and being reminded of just how sharp and aware kids are. It keeps me on my toes.

After my talk with Elena, I went to tuck in my six year old nephew, Euan. And we had a fantastic conversation about Cars 2.

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