The following is a conversation I had with my 3-year-old daughter while driving to my parent’s house:
Navvab asks: “Baba, how do trees grow?”
I respond: “Well, they dig their roots deep into the grounds and drink water. Their roots are like straws that suck the water up. At the same time, they’re reaching their branches up high into the sky so that they can touch the sun, because the trees love the warmth of the sun so they keep reaching higher and higher. Every tree is in love with the sun and really wants to touch it, and the ones that reach the hardest are the ones that grow the tallest.”
I checked on her through the rear-view and realized that she was waiting for me to continue. So I did.
“This is like people, we read prayers so that our roots can dig deep and be strong, and then we do good things for people so that we get closer and closer to God, and we reach for Gods warmth every day because we all want to reach Him really badly. But you know what?”
Navvab says: “What baba?”
I say: “The trees will never be able to touch the sun, and we will never be able to reach God, but we keep trying everyday”
Navvab begins: “But baba….(deep breath)…(Gulp)…(swallow)…(blinks a few times)…(deep breath again)…but baba…(Deep breath)…that’s not true…”
She continues: “…because God is actually in our hearts and when we pray our hearts open up and then we can feel God in our hearts, so we CAN reach him Baba.”
I’m staring straight ahead at the road, then I look back at Navvab and she’s looking out of her window watching the trees pass by. She’s content.
I reach back and give her a high five. Not a word is said for the remainder of the drive.