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God With Us
December 13, 2013 (04:16 PM)

My friend, Debbie, has five children and is a wonderful mother. She's always looking for opportunities to teach God's love and truth by word and by example. A few years ago at Christmas time, her daily route took her and the children by a local church where a large nativity scene was prominently displayed. My friend immediately saw this as a beautiful way to illustrate the story of Christmas for her youngest daughter, Carly, who was almost 3 years old at the time. Debbie shared how God loved us all so much that he sent His only Son to earth to save us from the wrong we had done--that the little baby Jesus lying in the manger was also God Himself and that we could know Him and love Him in return. Carly was enthralled with this information. Every day as they passed the nativity scene she would comment on the nearness of God.

One day, early in the new year, they were driving past the church when Carly suddenly burst into tears. Afraid Carly had been hurt somehow, Debbie asked, "Honey, what's wrong?"

Through her sobs, the child answered, "Mommy, God is gone!"

Sure enough, the season having passed, the nativity scene had been dismantled and God did indeed appear to be gone. Of course this "misunderstanding" inspired a discussion of the fact that God is really a spirit and can actually live all the time in our hearts. It also inspired the adults who later heard the story to ask ourselves, "Wouldn't it be wonderful if we were also acutely aware of our desperate need for the constant presence of God in our lives?"


Originally published as "Let the Children Come" in the book, Perennial.
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