Gentleness Lately: Keep Coming Back

Last night after Oliver’s Tuesday evening swim practice we read Five Little Monkeys Trick-or-Treat, in which five little monkeys swap costumes with friends to trick Lulu, the baby-sitter. He thinks it is SO funny.

“What’s your favorite costume?” I ask him.

“The ghost. What’s your favorite?”

“The princess.”

At the end they all come home to eat eyeball cookies and drink worm juice as a “trick treat” their monkey mom made for them. The recipes are in the back of the book and Oliver hopes we can make it on Halloween.

The other seasonal book he chose for the night is Halloween Mix and Match. Oliver flips the pages to create a unique monster. After much consideration he lands on one with a “floating head, creepy claws, and cobweb legs.” He thinks this is SO funny too. Then in his little space rocket pajamas he runs across the hall to our bedroom to show his Daddy the monster creation.

When he comes back we switch gears to read from the Jesus Story Book Bible before bedtime. At least I think we are switching gears. On Monday he requested I read the story of Jesus on the cross. “Are there nails?” he asks me. The illustration only shows the crown of thorns, so I explain to him the nails were on the hands and feet.

We follow up Monday’s story of the cross and the resurrection with one called Going Home, about the Ascension from Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, and John 14.

Jesus’ friends were afraid. So they were hiding in an upstairs room with the door bolted shut. But that didn’t stop Jesus. He just walked straight through the wall. “It’s a ghost!” Thomas screamed and hid under the table. But it wasn’t a ghost.
— Jesus Story Book Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones
36 And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them. “Peace be with you,” he said. 37 But the whole group was startled and frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost!

38 “Why are you frightened?” he asked. “Why are your hearts filled with doubt? 39 Look at my hands. Look at my feet. You can see that it’s really me. Touch me and make sure that I am not a ghost, because ghosts don’t have bodies, as you see that I do.” 40 As he spoke, he showed them his hands and his feet.
— Luke 24:36-40

And as I’m cuddled up next to Oliver in all his sweetness, I still wrestle in my mind with my own doubts. Ascending into heaven? Appearing and disappearing in thin air. It’s definitely hard to believe it all sometimes.

But I keep coming back to the Bible anyways, to the stories and the scriptures. I keep seeking Jesus, taking small steps of faith by simply opening my Bible each morning and reading Bible stories to Oliver at night.

And it’s exciting to think we live in a world where what seems impossible is possible.

Life with God is an invitation into a world where most of what makes sense to you crumbles. It’s far richer than you imagined, far less orderly and sensible, and far more mysterious.
— Recapturing the Wonder by Mike Cosper