The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


God 'gives us guts'

Youth share their experiences and questions of God

Dandi Daley Mackall thinks kids have the darndest things to say — about religion.

Author of Kids Are Still Saying the Darndest Things, Mackall asked children nationwide about God, faith and life for her new book, Why I Believe in God. She talked to children ages 5 through 12 and from different ethnic and religious backgrounds.

Some of the 4,500 essays she received came from ELCA-related schools — First Lutheran, Torrance, Calif., and St. Edwards School of Ashland [Ohio], Trinity Lutheran.

Two of the essays in her book were written by students at those schools.

Nine-year-old Sierra Wood from First became theological over God's presence in her life: "I think God is there even when I don't want him there."

And Jack Finlay, 6, from St. Edwards, shared his view on how God creates people: "God makes us head-first and then He adds body and legs. And last He reaches inside his own body and puts some soul in us. And He gives us guts. His guts."

Other inspirations from the book include:

  • "I believe in God because He will not ever turn me down for someone better, prettier or smarter" — Jessica Simpson, 12.

  • "I believe in God, but I still wonder about a lot of things. Like I wonder how He made eyeballs" — Joseph Langer, 7.

  • "The funny thing is we don't know if God is a he or a she. And so thats why they call God thee" — Jeff
    Smith, 7.

  • "A very good thing about God is that he fits in your heart" — Sarah Gendron, 5.

    The book's pages contain the children's own handwriting (see illustration). For the artwork, youth from the publisher's families were given some essays and crayons (in colors that matched the rest of the book) and were asked to draw their interpretation of the statements.

    To order Why I Believe in God, contact: Prima Publishing, PO Box 1260BK, Rocklin, CA 95677; (916) 632-4400.

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