I forgot my cell phone at home today when I went in to the office, so by the time I got home at 4:00 PM there were six voice mail messages for me, five regarding Tony (who has been at Grandma's for nearly two weeks and at Boy Scout camp a week before that) who is now homesick and wants to come home tonight (which I can't immediately facilitate because it is 4.5 hours north of us). The other message was from our 20-year-old college son Kyle. I knew that Kyle wanted to talk with me because Claudia IM'd from home to let me know that he had called her for my office number. I assumed it must be important if he was unable to wait until I retrieved my cell phone later today, but since I didn't hear from him I moved on to other things. He left a message, though.
"Dad, this is Kyle. I need you to call me because my friend is trying to convince me of something, and I think he's just full of crap. He's trying to tell me that before Noah there was no rain; it was just dew or something that watered the earth. I'm telling him that I don't believe that. Who's right? Call me when you get this message."
I had to smile with joy as I am reminded once again of how literal and linear of a thinker is my son Kyle. He has little time for nuances, likes facts, the bottomline. He likes to be right. And when it's a question regarding some facet of religious life I am the source he looks to, which is complimentary since he is a student at one of the finest self-identified Christian universities in the nation. He has plenty of professors and other friends he could rely upon for the solution to a dilemma such as his, but he typically chooses me as his final authority, which makes me smile as well as feel humbled.
"Hey, Kyle. It's dad."
"Did you get my message?"
"So, who is right?"
"I hate to tell you this, Kyle, but your friend is correct."
"What?! I thought God finished up everything on the seventh day, got things rolling?"
"No. God rested on the seventh day."
"OK. So God finished on the sixth day, right?"
"Well, not exactly. The Bible says that's when God finished the creation, with the highest creation being humans."
"So where does it say there was no rain until Noah?"
"If you look at the first few chapters of Genesis you will see indication that there was rain. The Bible talks about dew and about waters welling up from the earth to provide moisture, but there really isn't any talk about rain until Noah."
"In fact, part of the underlying idea is that what made Noah's words so controversial is that he was telling people the earth would be flooded, and the people had never heard of such a thing, had never even seen rain, so that when it began to rain they were shocked. That's part of the shock element of that account in Genesis."
"Dang. Now I'm going to have to tell him that he's right."
"Sorry, Kyle. Maybe you should read the Bible more often than your friend."
"I don't think it's because he's been reading the Bible. I think someone told him that."
"Well, he's right."
"OK. Thanks, dad. See you tomorrow?"
"Yep. See you then."
Tomorrow Kyle will be coming home for the weekend, which his siblings and parents look forward to. It is nice to have a son at this point in his life, so much an adult in his own right, and still a son who thinks his dad is an expert ... at least in some things.