Last month our church gave out little packets of M&M’s as an object lesson to help illustrate God’s love for us to our kids.
I, of course, proceeded to stick it on the fridge and then forget about it for a month. Tonight, though, I grabbed it while Jed was choosing a bedtime story for me to read to him and Adelaide.
So, the object lesson showed us how 1) M&M’s are all different, just like we are all different and unique. 2) M&M’s are filled on the inside, just like us (I especially liked this one – without the filling of God’s love, we are just like empty shells) and 3) M&M’s were created for a purpose, just like we were.
The kids really seemed to understand the metaphor (even though they were way more interested in getting to the eating part – even if it meant re-brushing their teeth) and impressively, they can now quote three ways we are like M&M’s.
After we finished, Jed handed me the book he had chosen: Adam Raccoon and the Circus Master by Glen Keane. If you’re not familiar with these little stories, they are parables re-told for kids with King Aren (a lion who represents God) and Adam Raccoon (a little raccoon with a penchant for getting into trouble. He reminds me of myself.) This one is a re-telling of my very FAVORITE story in the Bible, The Prodigal Son. After running away with a circus and making mistake after mistake, Adam Raccoon decides to come crawling back home. He doesn’t know if King Aren will ever forgive him. But when King Aren sees Adam coming, even though he’s still a long way away, the king runs out to meet Adam with outstretched arms and then he picks Adam up and hugs him tight.
At this point in the story, both of my children are looking at me, not the pages of the book. Jed pats my arm and Adelaide hands me a tissue. They’ve both learned to deal with my emotional responses to, well, basically everything. But this time, they wanted to know more. They wanted to hear the real story out of the Bible so I read it to them straight from Luke 15. Here are their comments and the real reason I took time to write this out… I didn’t want to forget how M&M’s and a raccoon came together tonight to illustrate something wonderful to my babies.
Jed: “So God weally loves us. Just like that Dad. He didn’t even wait for him to get back. He just wan out to meet him.” Adelaide: “It’s like the ninety-nine and the one, Mom. He leaves the ninety-nine to go and find the one that’s lost. And then he’s just so happy when he finds that one. Just like when he finds us. Isn’t that called Reckless Love?”
Yes. Yes, it is.
And I’m so thankful tonight for little children and a church family who constantly remind me of the overwhelming, never ending, reckless love of God.