In my last post I shared how my 3 year old son started asking me a lot – “Is God over us?” He seemed to be constantly wanting to be reassured or reminded that this was true. A few days after my post he asked me “Mommy who is below us?” And rather than read too deeply into questions of hell or an “underworld” I imagined his concrete understanding really wanting to know if God is above us then who is below us? “God is!” I replied. We went on to talk about all the places where God is – that is everywhere! And inside us too! We talked a little about Holy Communion and a little about the part of the prayers we say “who is everywhere present and fillest all things”. And since then I keep asking him – “And where else is God?”
“Inside us!” He responds.
Then we came up with a little rhyme:
God above us.
God below us.
God beside us.
God inside us!
We have little hand gestures we use – a hand above the head and then down by the belly, then to the side and then pointing straight at our heart.
As my children get older I find myself more and more focusing on the spiritual needs and level of my oldest and forgetting that my littler ones have needs that are unique and different. Another thing I got for my 3 year old that I now see if lovely for all my children is The Jesus Storybook Bible which does an amazing job of weaving together the Old and New Testament stories in one large salvation “love” story. I high recommend it.
Our above rhyme reminds me of the beautiful prayer attributed to St. Patrick also a lovely one for littles (and in honor of a dear friend whose baby Patrick was born a few days ago) which I leave you with below.
With love in Christ,
St. Patrick’s Prayer
The power of God to guide me,
The might of God to uphold me,
The wisdom of God to teach me,
The eye of God to watch over me,
The ear of God to hear me,
The word of God to speak for me,
The hand of God to protect me,
The way of God to lie before me,
The shield of God to shelter me,
The host of God to defend me,
Christ with me, Christ before me,
Christ behind me, Christ within me,
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ at my right, Christ at my left,
Christ in breadth, Christ in length, Christ in height,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks to me,
Christ in the eye of every man who sees me,
Christ in the ear of every man who hears me.