Parents struggle to explain, but there are no easy answers.
N THE WAKE OF the death of Apple's visionary leader, Steve Jobs, parents across the U.S. are struggling with the questions that children always pose when a bad thing has happened to a good person.
However, with Republican candidates and possible contenders appearing with great regularity on television, children are also asking why God has chosen to let figures like Rick Perry and Chris Christie continue to frighten them while taking someone like Steve Jobs, whom they liked and admired.
A mother in Ames, Iowa, admitted she and her husband didn't know quite how to answer their eight-year-old son when he asked, "Mommy, why did God make Steve Jobs die and Rick Perry live?"
"At first, I was stunned by the question," said the young mother, "so I asked Joseph Jr. what he meant. He said to me, 'Rick Perry is scary. He killed people, but Steve Jobs didn't kill people. He made the iPod.' I just didn't know what to say to that, frankly. We're still working on an answer."
Little seven-year-old Janie of Closter, New Jersey asked her father why "God lets that mean Chris Christie yell at people but makes Steve Jobs die. Steve Jobs made the iPhone. Chris Christie is mean like Jason at school. Jason jumps on the little kids during recess."
Janie's father said he was "really thrown" by his daughter's question.
"Usually kids just ask 'Why did somebody have to die?' but now they seem to be going a little deeper. I'm glad Christie isn't running after all, or Janie might have had nightmares until the election."
Clergy are also feeling the pressure to provide answers for parishioners who are not able to find the right words to such probing questions from their young ones.
Lutheran Reverend Bill Monroe said he was "not really surprised over children's questions about God's fairness," however he did admit he could not easily answer "why our Lord takes Steve Jobs and yet leaves certain others to frighten his little flock. Perhaps He's testing their faith," said the Reverend.
"Or preparing them for the rigors of Judgment Day," he added.
© 10.7.11 Kate Heidel