Friday, May 23, 2008

How Big Is God?

The news have swept through the online Christian community, so forgive me if you've already heard. Stephen Curtis Chapman's youngest daughter Maria, who just turned five a couple weeks ago), was killed in an automobile accident on Wednesday night. The Chapman's have been very active in supporting international adoption, even forming a foundation to help other families afford it. He wrote the song Cinderella for her, and she was a beautiful little girl. As the mother of a five-year old girl myself, I can't begin to imagine their loss.

Since reading this story on Thursday, I've been paying attention to the small things that my life is made up of, but so often get ignored in the busyness of life. Our school is holding Bible Boot Camp this summer. Kids accumulate points through attendance, bringing their Bible, doing the homework, etc; that they can use for prizes. She came home the other night with a set of dogtags and a miniature Bible. She was so proud of the Bible, she had me read her several passages before bed and then fell asleep with it in her hands. Talk about treasuring God's Word! After Molly took a shower last night, she asked me to French braid her hair. Because of the RA, I can't do it often, but I try to do it whenever she asks. She tucked into the bed by me, and while I braided her hair, she read my book (Rene Gutteridge's Skid) aloud to me. After a few minutes of her reading, Doogie wandered in with his book in hand (Angie Sage's Physik) and plopped down on the end of the bed. I finished her hair, but she kept reading until the end of the chapter. Before she could leave, Doogie thrust his book at her and offered her a backrub (she absolutely adores them) if she would read some of his. So while Mia slept quietly next to me, Molly read to us, and Doogie listened happily. It was a blessed moment.

How Big is God by Lisa Tawn Bergren and illustrated by Laura J. Bryant is a wonderful, new hardcover children's book that tries to answer kids' toughest questions about God. The story is told through a conversation between Mother and son as he asks how a big God can be so tiny as to fit into his heart. As the mom talks about God, the setting switches from mountaintop to outer space, all in beautiful illustrations. The book doesn't deny that God is too big to understand; instead it embraces the seeming contradictions. God can be with the son in school, but also with every other child in every other school in the entire world, all at the same time. In the end, the son is comforted with the knowledge that God is everywhere at all times, but especially in his heart. My daughter also loved the message. We lingered over each page, and as soon as we finished, we had to go back and read it again. Bergren has been very successful with her God Gave Us You books (I can't read the book at all without crying. We own it, but someone else in the house has to read it to Mia), and this promises to be another terrific book for children and their families to grow in their relationship with God and each other.

I'll be starting a new book contest on Monday, and I'll give you a hint as to the title: I mentioned it once in today's blog. First person to guess it correctly and leave it in the comments section wins a copy. For more details, come back on Monday!