Parenting has given me a deep appreciation of several things–locks on bathroom doors, chocolate covered almonds in bulk from Costco, children’s church volunteers, and the way Jesus often communicated via parables. To name just a few.
Parenthood itself is really one giant parable–an ongoing picture of how God loves his children. And my life as a parent seems to be full of personalized parables too. I am not sure a day goes by when God doesn’t offer an exhortation, kind conviction, or even just a laugh to my soul through something one of my kids has done or said.
During a recent trip through our favorite craft supply store, sandwiched between the obnoxiously early Christmas decor and the modeling clay aisles, Jesus showed up to walk and teach his latest parable among us.
It started simply enough with my 10 year old daughter still riding the buzz of a new school year. Her creative soul inundated with all the brightly packaged, glittering art supplies, she approached me with a small decorative box in hand. I was only half-listening as she laid out her five point proposal as to why this was the perfect box for her pencils and supplies.
When she had finished I took the item in my hands.
“It is very cute, luv. Don’t you already have several pencil cases though?”
“Ahh, I see…The thing is babe, this box isn’t even long enough to hold a pencil, see?”
As we held up the short narrow container, we both clearly saw it was not made with the intention of housing writing utensils.
Slightly deflated, but far from defeat, my daughter went to return the treasure one aisle over. And then she was back, this time with an even prettier, more elaborate trinket, still attempting to sell the pencil case bit.
I listened, pushing shopping cart forward with one hand while plucking my 4-year-old from a shelf she was attempting to scale, with the other. By the middle of our third go around, I began to understand why she wanted a new pencil box. I knew Jesus was near, using the bargaining of a child to illustrate and highlight an area of my life aching for growth and sanctification. Parable on aisle 12.
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