You’ve got questions? I’ve got something approximating answers.
(These questions are courtesy my delightful Facebook friends and family)
Q. What is the meaning of life?
A. 42. Haven’t you read Douglas Adams? (If you want a better answer, I’m going with the Westminster Shorter Catechism. “Man’s chief end is to glorify God and to enjoy Him forever.”)
Q. From some of your blog posts your oldest son sometimes seems pretty clever and charming. How did he get to be so gosh darn amazing?
A. This is an easy one. Good upbringing.
Q. Why do good people suffer? (And the offshoot question of why children have disabilities or serious illness?)
A. This area of inquiry is often referred to as theodicy, or the “problem of evil”. The greatest minds in world religion have grappled with this question for thousands of years. Do you think you’ll get a satisfying answer from me? There are some smart Christian thinkers who’ve come up with some decent responses, though. I defer to them.
Q. How much bacon is acceptable to eat in one meal?
A. Ah, yes. This question I can handle. St. Paul wrote that, “All things are permissible to me, but not all things are beneficial.” I suggest stopping at four slices.
Q. Who was your most cleverest amazing friend in high school?
A. Perhaps you’ve forgotten, but it was my job to be the cleverest one in high school. In our little cabal we had “the beauty”, “the brawn”, “the brains” and “the babushka”. It’s all coming back to you now, isn’t it? I was “the brains”. And I’ll admit, all these years later, that “the babushka” got screwed on the nickname.
Q. When a family has “many” children (as in ours 5!!) how do you create the ties that bind between oldest and youngest?
A. We have 13 years between our oldest and our youngest, so I hear ya. I’m also 9 years younger than my oldest sibling, so I’ve experienced a bit of what you’re talking about. The relationship between my oldest sister and I was actually very close until she moved out of the country. Maybe you can help your older children learn to appreciate being worshiped – ’cause that’s what younger kids do with much older siblings. They seem so impossibly cool when you’re a little kid and they’re in high school or college. The smallest notice – a little gift brought home, or permission to ride along on an errand – feels fantastic when it’s coming from the big brother or sister. I remember this myself. My sister used to come home from college bringing me colored feathers from the Powhatan restaurant in Pocahontas. I kept a collection of them in a jar in my bedroom and wouldn’t have traded them for anything.
Q. What is your quest? What is the capital of Assyria?
A. You’re not making me do Monty Python. I’ve got my dignity.
Q. Where do you get your haircut?
A. The Cutting Edge, but only by Cindy.
Q. Where did you meet your husband?
A. Greenville College. He bought me a pizza and swept me off my feet.
Q. Should Pluto be a planet?
A. Absolutely. It’s so lame to be called a planetoid.
Q. Explain your eschatology.
A. That’s not a question; it’s a command. But I’ll tell you this much: love wins.
Q. Why does your husband love you more than anything else in this world?
A. I keep him drugged.
Q. Where do all of the missing socks go?
A. This area of inquiry is sometimes – well, once – referred to as Sockodyssey (I mean, seriously, where do they go?) or “the problem of pairing”. The greatest minds in world religion have grappled with this question for thousands of years. Do you think you’re going to get a satisfying answer from me? Steve Taylor did write a good song about it, though. I defer to him.