Last week we left Junior prancing down the street with balloons of love and goodness bouncing along behind him. He knows God loves him, blesses him, and he’s learned that he can share those blessings. The more he shares, the more joy for everybody.
I’ve enjoyed creating these theoretical conversations with a kid all summer, and today’s is the final segment. The last part of the last verse of Psalm Twenty-three. How will Junior put the whole thing together?
You: And what happens next as goodness and love follow you?
Kid: I dwell in the house of the Lord forever. I go to heaven!
You: Right. All those good balloons for your whole life and then heaven forever.
Kid: Yeah, and all I have to do is good stuff.
You: Whoa! You’re forgetting the other five verses. The last verse is just what happens because of the others.
Kid: But you said goodness will follow me my whole life and the more good stuff I do, the more good stuff that follows.
You: I did say that. And where did all that good stuff come from to start with?
Kid (has to think back as he mumbles the entire psalm): The Shepherd prepared the table for me.
You: So the Shepherd’s the one who gave you all your blessings. And how come He gave you blessings but not everybody?
Kid: I don’t know.
You: Keep going backwards through the psalm.
Kid: He uses the rod and staff to comfort me…
You: Keep going.
Kid: I walk through the Valley of the Shadow of Death…
You: And you fear no evil. Keep going.
Kid: He guides me in paths of righteousness…
You: Ah, now you’re getting somewhere. Keep going.
Kid: He restores my soul…
Kid: He makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters…
You: And who is doing all this for you?
Kid: The Shepherd.
You: And why does He do all that – the pastures, the water, restoring your soul, comforting you?
Kid: Because I’m a sheep?
You (triumphant): Yes! Because you’re a sheep! A sheep follows the Shepherd. That’s why you go to heaven.
Kid: Because I follow the Shepherd, because I follow Jesus.
You: That’s it.
Kid: So it all goes back to the first verse? I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever because the Lord is my Shepherd.
You: The Shepherd starts it all. We get to go to heaven because of the Shepherd. Beautiful, isn’t it?
I’ve always pictured Junior at approximately eight years old. Soon, my four-year-old granddaughter will arrive for a visit. I’m going to try the same kid conversations with her and see how she responds. If she comes up with some adorable insights, I’ll share them with you.
In the meantime, I’m ready to return to creating spiritual metaphors from the physical world as such thoughts come to mind. I would appreciate feedback on this: if you look in the archives to see other types of blog posts I’ve written, would you prefer to see them as a Conversations-with-kids format? Or do you prefer the original style? Thanks for any help you can offer.