There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. ~Anaïs Nin

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lent Day Eight - Let There Be Play-Doh

     I vividly recall my first Christmas after learning the truth about Santa Claus.  I woke up, went downstairs to the Christmas tree, saw the gifts, and I felt sad. Gone was the sense of wonder, the magic that surrounds that day and I knew Christmas would never quite be the same again.

     I felt the same way when I learned the truth about Hell.  My relationship with God changed that day.  And all the wonder and magic of the world disappeared, leaving a hole in my heart that I have been trying to fill ever since.

     I became very serious after that.  Confused because nothing made sense anymore.  All the songs I sang about Jesus loving me seemed empty and hollow.  How could God love me, and banish me at the same time? The questions have overwhelmed me, even to this day. 

     Last night I watched Toy Story 3.  And I was reminded of my childhood, before Santa, before Hell.  I used to play. My heart used to be light.  I loved Tonka trucks and hula hoops and pogo sticks.  And there was nothing better than opening a brand new container of Play-Doh. 

     But I don’t play with those things anymore. And my heart is heavy because it’s filled with worry and concern. I think no wonder Jesus wanted the little children to come to Him.  Because they laugh and play. They still have their sense of wonder and awe.  I see it on their faces during our children’s sermons, as they wait eagerly for the pastor to tell them a story and hand them a treat. 

     And yet, Jesus must have had a heavy heart as well.  Nobody endured more pain and suffering as a result of the evils of this world than Him.  But still he called the children.  He didn’t rebuke their silliness, their innocence.  He loved them and even instructed that unless we become like these little children we would not see the Kingdom of Heaven.

     I would like to find that sense of wonder within myself again. I believe its there but just became buried.  Perhaps the way to find it again is to act just a little bit like a child.   And while I would love to swirl around the inside of a hula hoop, I think my hips would be grateful if I settled for a coloring book and some crayons.


  1. Wishing you all the adventure and carefree joy of childhood!:) I find being creative and open-hearted (is that a word?:) leaves room for a more child like spirit!


  2. We never had our kids believe in Santa as bringing gifts because we knew how we felt when we found out who Santa was and we didn't want them to experience similar things like you mentioned.

    God doesn't banish anyone to hell. We are born with free choice. We each have a choice of whether we accept Jesus as Lord and Savior of ours lives, having died for our sins, with us admitting we are sinners and asking him to forgive our sins. It is not God's intention that anyone would go to hell. We can capture that carefree child-like spirit by just rejoicing in who Jesus is, what he did for us, the wonder of the creation God made for us, the characteristics of God, eternal, everlasting, almighty, awesome, kind, merciful, compassionate, etc.


  3. Betty, Where were you when I was 9? :) Unfortunately the messages I received from my friends and BIble teachers were not quite so loving. And I hear what you are saying but I still think I might buy that coloring book!

    Colleen, Thanks! I might even take my coloring book to the playground :)

  4. Those are some wise words from Betty!