… was the question a little six-year-old asked, but no one seemed to have an answer. Her father, Alex Renton (an atheist), was shocked that his daughter’s Scottish school would make the class answer the question. The girl, Lulu, looked to her father for an answer to the question. He replied that they didn’t believe in God, but her father still wanted a religious answer for his daughter.
The dad wrote the Scottish Episcopal Church and the Presbyterians. They didn’t reply. The Scottish Catholics wrote a long and complex answer.
Seeking more answers, he also sent a letter to the head of the Anglican Communion, who happens to be Rowan Williams (the same Rowan Williams who officiate the recent royal wedding). Rowan Williams replied:
Your dad has sent on your letter and asked if I have any answers. It’s a difficult one! But I think God might reply a bit like this –
‘Dear Lulu – Nobody invented me – but lots of people discovered me and were quite surprised. They discovered me when they looked round at the world and thought it was really beautiful or really mysterious and wondered where it came from. They discovered me when they were very very quiet on their own and felt a sort of peace and love they hadn’t expected.
Then they invented ideas about me – some of them sensible and some of them not very sensible. From time to time I sent them some hints – specially in the life of Jesus – to help them get closer to what I’m really like.
But there was nothing and nobody around before me to invent me. Rather like somebody who writes a story in a book, I started making up the story of the world and eventually invented human beings like you who could ask me awkward questions!’
And then he’d send you lots of love and sign off.
I know he doesn’t usually write letters, so I have to do the best I can on his behalf. Lors of love from me too.
Wow. I guess that is why he is the Archbishop of Canterburry.
Sometimes, life’s big questions are best seen through the eyes of a child.