Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Lessons From a Cucumber

As a mom, I have the responsibility to ensure that my children start out in life following the principles of Philippians 4:8-9 by thinking on pure and lovely things.  I'll admit that we are not as strict as we could be.  Does my daughter know all the songs on Dora the Explorer?  Yep.  Does my four year old son know Darth Vader by sight?  Absolutely.  But I do strive to keep them exposed daily to good, healthy, Biblical influences as well.  Sometimes this takes the form of Bible coloring pages with accompanying story. Sometimes it takes the form of hymns at bedtime.  And sometimes it takes the form of a singing cucumber.  

Yes, Larry the Cucumber is our friend.  I'm sure you are familiar with Larry and his pal Bob and their show VeggieTales.  There are times when I am tired of having a song about pirates who don't do anything in my head, but most of the time, I am pleased with the way the Veggies present Biblical concepts in kid-friendly ways.  And every once in awhile, I run across an episode that adults need to see.

A Snoodle's Tale is one such episode.  The front of the DVD actually calls it a lesson in Self-Worth, but don't let that scare you.  It isn't a pop-psychology lesson in body image.  Instead, it is a lesson about seeing yourself the way God sees you.  In the story (told in Suessian style), a young Snoodle named Snoodle Doo comes into the world with wings, paints, and a kazoo.  He immediately starts trying to use the things he was given, but his fellow Snoodles ridicule him and tell him he can't fly or paint.  To add insult to injury, they draw pictures of him and place them in his pack to remind him of how silly he looked.  Snoodle Doo begins to believe all the ridicule and climbs a mountain to be alone.  Instead, he finds his creator.  The creator immediately throws away the ridiculing pictures and shows the young snoodle a new picture, a picture of how he, the creator, sees him, with all of his potential.  Snoodle Doo is amazed.  His creator sees him as bigger and stronger than he sees himself.  He tells Snoodle Doo:

"Here's what you look like; Here's how I see you.
Keep this in your pack and you'll find it will free you
From all of the pictures and all of the lies
That others make up just to cut down your size."
"And lastly, your wings. You know what they're for!
But not just to fly, son, I want you to soar!"

Every time I get to this part, I tear up.  In fact, I'm a little misty-eyed as I write this.  Sometimes we as women have a picture in our heads about ourselves that is just not true.  We may base this picture on what others have told us or on our own memories of times we have tried and failed to the person we know we should be.  But our Creator doesn't see all that.  He sees us through the filter of his Son's blood.  He sees us as his children.  "See how great a love the Father has bestowed on us, that we would be called children of God; and such we are." (John 3:1)  When I see my children, I don't see their faults.  I am aware of them, of course, but if you asked me to describe my children, I would not start by listing their shortcomings.  I would talk about my daughter's beautiful singing or my son's affectionate nature.   I know that God loves me much more than I love my children.  Not only that, he knows exactly what I am capable of.  He not only sees my abilities; He gave them to me.  How am I going to use those abilities today?  How are you?

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