Driving to church usually takes us about 25 minutes or so. Thankfully the trip is mostly on the freeway, and we are blessed to see hundreds of beautiful pine and fir trees along the way here in scenic Oregon.
Last week, as I drove the familiar way to church, Gabi kept commenting on how much she loved the "palm" trees. At first, i didn't pay much attention to her, and then the teacher instinct kicked in as I hastened to correct her that those were not palm trees.
"Yes, they are palm trees," she insisted. "I know they are."
"No, sweetheart," I answered calmly. "We don't have palm trees around here. Those are pine trees. You know, like Christmas trees?"
She frowned at me. "They have to be palm trees! Jesus made them!"
(Haha - Gabi theology point one - Jesus likes to make palm trees. After some questioning, I theorize that she picked that one up from her Easter lessons in Sunday School. Apparently the palm branches stuck out in her memory.)
We continued to drive toward church. There was silence in the back seat - I figured it was satisfaction in winning the debate that those were indeed palm trees. Then Gabi spoke again.
"Mama, do you know why God made trees?"
"Well, honey, there are lots of reasons God gave us trees. For shade, for wood, for beauty.."
"No, Mama!" Gabi interrupted. "That's not why He made them. He made the trees so He could hide in them."
(Gabi theology point two - God likes to hide in trees. I have no idea where she got this one. Maybe her teacher has been emphasizing that God is everywhere, or maybe she got her Adam and Eve story a little askew.)
We were almost to church when Gabi asked one more question.
"Do you know why God made mamas?" she questioned me.
"Why?" I asked, not sure what reason I was going to hear.
"God made mamas to love me, that's why!" she said confidently.
A big smile spread across my face as I walked her to her Sunday School class. After watching her run in to play with her little friends, I paused at the door and looked at her teacher.
"Thank you for all you do, and thank you for teaching my daughter the Bible," I said. And I meant it.