Today was another day of summer camp for the boys. One was at soccer camp and the other at skateboard camp. That, however, is not really what this post is about.
After picking the boys up, we passed by a cemetery on the way home. My youngest, the 8 year old, looked out the winder and asked, "Dad, why are cemeteries often beside churches?" I told him that was a good question and built my explanation thusly.
You see, my boy, churches are often thought of as God's house. What's happening then is that people are being buried next to God's house. Now, you might be asking yourself why God would want people buried near his house, and that is also a good question. God, you see, is a bit of a recluse and doesn't like to leave the house. Even for the purpose of collecting the faithful and taking them up to their heavenly reward. The idea of mixing with people on a day to day basis is not really His thing and it makes Him nervous. In fact, you never actually see Him in church because, while he likes people coming over and telling him how awesome he is, He keeps out of sight and watches through a special peephole the church had installed for just that purpose.
When people built churches, they knew this and understood that they had a better chance of making it into Heaven if they didn't make God work too hard for it. They would die, be buried, and God, when the church was empty and people had gone home, would stroll into the graveyard next door, knock on the recently departed's casket, and thank them for their consideration in not being buried half way across town. Then God would call a celestial cab and have them pick the deceased up and taken away. At this point, God wanders back into his house until the next person dies.
I know. You're thinking, "How can you tell stories like this to your kid?"
Don't worry. By now, my son had a pretty good handle on Dad's explanations.
He also wanted to know why people have to pay to be buried if they're already dead, but thats another discussion.
Image citation : Historic Irish Cemetary, via Wikicommons at https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Historic_Irish_Cemetery.jpg