Thursday, April 19, 2012

let me tell you a story

My favorite activity as a parent has been reading my children a book, with their warm bodies tucked in under my arms and their Johnson & Johnson shampoo all up under my nose. 

It’s fun reading a book… for the first 20 times. 

Like the train book I read to Caleb night after night that my husband and I can still quote.  Whoo whoo!  Wheels-a-turnin’! 

Or the Winnie the Pooh stories that I think my 17-year-old would sit still for even now if I were to pull one out.  The wonderful thing about Tiggers is Tiggers are wonderful things! 

Why will a child pull out the same tattered book at bedtime night after night, even if you try to hide it behind other books hoping she won’t find it? 

Last night I told the story of the prodigal son to a room full of grade school children and adults, and they sat and listened to me as if they had never heard it before. 

The son demands his inheritance, runs away and squanders it on wild living, and then returns home in complete poverty.  He knows he has sinned against heaven and his dad, and he doesn’t even deserve to be treated like a son, but he hopes to return home for at least a job and some food. 

He tries to explain his position to his dad, but it’s hard to get his story out as his dad is hugging and kissing him, calling for a robe, a ring, sandals, and steaks to be laid out on the BBQ.  My son has returned!  (Luke 15:11-24)

This story I have heard over and over and over and over again, the story I’ve seen on flannel graph in Sunday School and have heard acted out in Vacation Bible School, this story makes a lump come up in my throat.   

The son has messed up everything, and his dad is hugging and kissing and laughing with joy at his return.  This is how God feels about me. 

Maybe all you need to make it through today is to pick up that tattered Bible you’ve read so many times and find yourself a good story.

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