This week we embarked on a new faith study. Teens and adults are gathering to participate in the series simply titled Animate. It is a video series followed by small group discussions.

The first installment featured Brian McLaren, who described some of the various ways christians understand or imagine God. After the video, we broke into groups. Girls in one group, guys in another.

On the way home, I asked Ethan the same questions we had discussed in our group. How do YOU imagine God? Is your understanding of Him more Kataphatic? Or Apophatic? (these big words were introduced and defined for us in the video, and beautifully illustrated in our Animate Journals.) When it comes to your “camp”- are you more concrete? Or foggy?

Imagine my surprise when Ethan, my most resistant/oppositional child, fell right in line with the way I imagine God, the way I understand Him, and even falling into the same camp.

I commented, “Wow Ethan, I can’t believe that we are just alike in all of those areas,” to which he quickly responded, “Well, you raised me!”

The conversation went on into our more typical exchange. . .

I commented that I had a hard time understanding one of the girls in my class. Like a typical teen, she talks pretty fast! Ethan chimed in, “Yeah, she’s pretty monotone.”

Those of you who know my kid will understand my response: “POT. KETTLE.”

“Hey, I speak a lot more volumtious when I’m with my friends,” Ethan objected.

“That’s not even a word Ethan.” (argument ensues)

“No, you’re trying to make up a new word like ginormous. You’re blending voluptuous and voluminous.”

“Oh,” Ethan said. “Well, it works. It’s volume-to-us.