Beth, an active, curious, four-year old stood looking in the icebox. She had been going through cabinets and shelves looking for something. Mom came to see if she needed help.
“We just had snacks at church are you hungry again?” Mom asked.
“No, I am looking for the little people,” Beth replied.
“Oh, you want the cookies with elves on them?”
“No, I am looking for the little people,” Beth repeated. “She said, they were sweet and good. She said, ‘We needed to taste it and see.” I can’t find them.”
“She who? Who told you to eat little people? Richard’s Mom was talking to Susie’s Mom and she said to do it.”
“I am sorry, I don’t know what you’re talking about. Bill, come here, please.”
“What?” A seven year old, replied.
“You mean yes, Mama. Beth is talking about little people do you know what she talking about?”
“Oh, they were talking about the ones that live in your heart.
“Beth, honey is that the little people you are talking about?” Mom asked.
Beth nodded back, yes. “They have to be little because they live in your heart like the gingerbread-man only smaller.”
Can I get back to my game, please?”
Mom, nodded yes.
“Beth closed the door to the icebox, and come sit in my lap. I’m sorry, she did not say well, there are no little people the size of your thumb, and they are not like cookies that you eat.”
“But that what she said!”
“But it is not what she meant, honey.”
“Do you remember who God is?”
“Yes, He made you, Daddy, Bill, and me.”
“That is good. Do you remember who Jesus is?”
“Yes, He is God’s son.”
“That is right. Do you remember why he was born?
Ducking her head Beth said, “Because we are sometimes bad and get spankings.”
“Yes, honey. He helps us to be good.”
“I know, I know that why we pray because we are sorry. And also when we want kitty to get better.”
“Yes, that right. Do you know where he lives?”
“In the house.”
“That is good. God has to be everywhere so He can see and hear your prayers. He likes to be with you. You know that, right?”
“But if God is everywhere He has to be really big.”
Open her arms wide she said, “This big.”
“Yes, but you are a little girl aren’t you? How big are you next to God?”
Beth held her finger very close together.
“So, how is God going to fit inside you? If he tried you would blow up like a balloon.”
“So, God takes a little piece of himself and puts it inside your heart, so He can be close to you and talk to you. That is what she is talking about living in your heart, not a gingerbread man.”
“Is that who tells me not to do something when Daddy, Bill or you are not around?”
“He is almost as bossy as Bill; Bill is always telling me what to do.”
“Yes, brothers do that.”
“We love you and don’t want you to get hurt. If you played in the street, a car could hurt you. That is why he talks to us. And He likes you because you’re so cute.” Mom said tickling her.
“Does He tell you what to do?”
“He tries; someday I don’t listen any better than you.”
“Do you get spankings too?”
“Yes, just not with a paddle. There are worst things when you’re bigger.”
“But why did she say that we should taste and eat. You can’t eat God.”
“Do you remember when I got the pineapple the other day? You said it looked hard and sticky, and you did not what any. After I cut it and you saw Bill eating then it you tried it and you liked it.”
“She is trying to say the same thing about God. Talk to Him, get to know Him and you will see that He is good.”
“But why was Richard’s Mom was talking to Susie’s Mom about it?”
“Susie’s Mom does usual go to church, and they just moved here. So Richard’s Mom was just trying to make sure she knew about God.”
“So Jesus can talk to her too?”
“Yes, it is important that we know that God love us, and not everyone does.”
“Does Susie know? Can I tell her?”
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