Once again, the minivan (Volkswagen, remember? We are trendy, darn it!) has inspired deep philosophical conversation between me and my children. Today, the topic was Hell. Why not?
Aidan wanted to know how Lucifer went from being an angel to being the Devil. Then Gabrielle wanted to know what the Devil looked like. Then Liam said, "Christmas tree!"
I am not sure he was taking the conversation seriously, though, so we moved on.
Next, Ellie wanted to know where the Devil lived. Aidan told her that he roamed the Earth trying to capture people. Then Aidan asked what Hell was.
Hmm. Is Hell an actual fiery pit of eternal torture, or was Jesus referencing the garbage pit located outside of town where they burned trash as a metaphor for eternal separation from God and from the Communion of Saints? And did that driver not learn what a turn signal was in Driver's Ed?
I settled for a combination of eternal separation from God and fiery pit. And for good measure, I added that only really bad people go there.
Gabrielle thought about this for a moment and then said, "Then I think ------ (a boy from school) is going there."
"Why do you say that?"
"Well, he never uses his listening ears and he talks when the teacher is talking."
Forget detention and trips to the office! Ha! Let's hope Gabrielle doesn't become a principal someday!
"No, Ellie. Your friend makes bad choices, but he's a kid. He isn't evil. Evil people intentionally disobey God and do bad things on purpose just to hurt people."
Liam, again clearly not interested in being productive: "Truck!"
As we pulled into the parking space at Sam's, Aidan offered this observation: "Mom, do you think the bad man who told those people from the Middle East to bomb the Twin Towers is in hell now?"
"Why, yes, Aidan, I do."
Aidan: "See, Ellie. Killing people is a LOT worse than talking when the teacher is talking."
And that's Hell in a nutshell, folks. Any questions?