Re-writing Story Time
Imagine my surprise when I asked my toddler what he wanted to read for story time and he came to me with a gospel tract I thought I had discarded after receiving it as a handout from a street corner prophet. “Read it to me?” I began to say no and suggest something else for our bedtime snuggles, but then I had the idea to “read” it by saying whatever words I wanted him to hear about our God, rather than reading the words written on the page.
You see this tract was all about fear. It described a God who is angry, full of wrath, and revenge. Who will forsake you and curse you if you don’t do what he wants. It is about a God whose raging threats intimidate humankind into obedience for fear of their lives.
So as we thumbed through the pages, I told him a story about a God who loves us more than we could think to imagine. More than we ever feel like we deserve. I wrote on his heart a story about a God who is so committed to relationship with us that He will do anything, go anywhere, or overturn any force in this world to meet us. I told him about a God who longs for us to enjoy abundant life, wholeness, pleasure, and delight and whose guidance is intended to show us how to get there when we feel lost. I told him that both heaven and hell are right here - just a choice away at any given moment. We thanked God for God’s goodness, repeating Psalm 119 : You are good, and what you do is good!
Some of us adults are living with deceitful stories running through our brains. They are sometimes advertised as Christianity. But if we feel never good enough, always striving and earning the grace that was never meant to be earned, we have been misled. Feel free to take this moment to re-write that message to yourself. You are enough. You always have been. There is nothing you can do to make God love you more. There is nothing you can do to make God love you less. There is nothing to fear, and everything to receive.