Let’s face it: kids make life fun. Through the years I’ve collected hilarious comments from kids at my Writing is Fun! workshops in schools, but those lines can’t hold a candle to our own kids’ and grandkids’ stories.
There’s no question that children’s comments are often good for a laugh, but could there be more to them than that? Could “MaMa, why is your arm like a water balloon?” possibly help me lead others to Christ?
If you’ve ever heard me speak, you know I use a lot of stories. After all, it’s through story that we’re able to grab the listener and teach the message we feel called to share. I use this technique frequently, and I find it works especially well when the joke’s on me.
For example, when I’m speaking to women about our struggle with beauty, I often will say that beauty is everything I’m not. Beauty is blonde…I have dark brown hair with gray “highlights.” Beauty is skinny…even though I’m not overweight, I’ve never been skinny. Beauty is tall…I can’t even stretch to five feet. But most of all, beauty is young…and I left “young” behind long, long ago. As a matter of fact, I’m now officially older than I am tall!
But in order to make sure I know what’s important, God has surrounded me with kids who unwittingly speak the truth; hence, the water balloon question. And from the response of the ladies in the audience, they totally get it…because some of them have water balloon arms, too!
Other beauty/youth comments include:
- Third grader: “You don’t look like the picture on the back of your book. On the back of your book you don’t look like you have any wrinkles, but now that you’re here at my school, I can see that you have lots of wrinkles.”
- While playing I Spy with my 7-year-old granddaughter, she had me looking for something purple. I couldn’t find anything purple anywhere, so I finally gave up. She smile and pointed…to my purple, spider-veined leg.
- And I won’t even talk about the bathtub adventure with my then 5-year-old granddaughter who said certain parts of my anatomy looked like “You know, those floppy things that hang down on a turkey’s neck?”
Ah, yes, kids are great at helping us feel good about ourselves. And by sharing these less-than-encouraging words with our audience, we’re able to grab their attention and then segue into the important points of our messages. After all, beauty isn’t really what we’re trying to teach, is it?
If we’re alert to the opportunities around us, kids’ words can help us teach others about the beauty God desires. The beauty of the heart.
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7
The next time I meet with you, we’ll look at other messages God has given me through the words of children. But until then, keep a pen and notebook (or your smart phone!) handy. You never know when you’ll receive the gift–straight from the mouths of the babes around you.
Grace and peace,