Tuesday, February 22, 2011


I belong to a mommy group at the church I attend. It truly is a mommy group as there is childcare provided so that the mommies of all but the littlest of babies can actually meet and talk and pray and be focused on each other and not our kids. It is one of the joys of my week and I take the time to go even though Little G is in daycare the day they meet and I really should be using the time to work on my business.

At the end of each mommy group we break up into our small groups that were determined at the beginning of the year for some time to talk and pray. A couple of weeks ago, my small group was discussing how hard it was to stay focused on God during our days since it was so easy to get caught up in the moment-to-moment joys and frustrations of raising children. I mentioned that I thought 'they' should invent a Jesus Pez Dispenser that would dispense bible verses on a little candy so that you could get both spiritual and nutritional reinforcement whenever you needed to access it. We all laughed about the idea and went along our merry way.

Fast forward to this week and one of the women in my small group gave me a present. She mentioned having the perfect thing at home for me that she gotten to be a gag gift but had never found the right person to give it to until now. I opened up the gift wrap and there was a stuffed Jesus...crooked nose and all, like a good Jew.

Even better, the stuffed Jesus, talks to you when you squeeze his hand. It was noisy in the room though, so I didn't hear anything that Jesus was trying to say.

When it was time to go home, I tossed Jesus and my purse in the back of my car and started driving. Usually I play the radio in my car, so I have no idea why it wasn't on, thus making my car a cavern of silence. About five minutes into my silent car ride I heard a voice speak authoritatively:

"I LOVE you; and I have an EXCITING plan for your life!!"

I started giggling as I meekly responded, "Jesus?"

It was quiet for a moment and then He responded, "I am the way, truth and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me."

Of course, then I went over a pot hole and my purse must have dug deeper into Jesus' hand because he just kept talking and talking and talking until out of exasperation I exclaimed, "Oh my GOD, JESUS...SHUT UP!!", as I reached into the back seat and flung my purse away from stuffed Jesus.

It doesn't take a preacher to pull a sermon illustration out of this one...although one did. How often do I not hear what He is trying to tell me because of the noise in my life? How often do I finally have some quiet time in my life and hear His voice clearly? How often do I feel like He expects too much and shun Him away?

But the question I wonder the most about is, how often has a stuffed Jesus actually made someone think?


  1. This post brought tears to my eyes. Ever since having Claire, I feel God's love through her every day, but at the same time it HAS been difficult to really listen for Him, to have QT every day, or to even read the Bible regularly.

    My church has a weekly Women's Group Bible Study too, and when the new curriculum starts I plan on attending the morning session which offers daycare. Now, more than ever (as a new mother who is raising a child in these tumultuous days), I feel myself aching for more sisters in Christ. I am so happy for you that you have such a system in place, and that they are able to provide adult time, friendship, support, and accountability...and even gifts such as the stuffed Jesus!

    P.S. — I LOL'ed when I read "I LOVE you; and I have an EXCITING plan for your life!!" I imagined a teeny weeny toy voice saying it, but it's so powerful and true, and something I really needed to hear!

  2. Was the crooked nose comment really necessary?

  3. The entire point of your message is lost due to the crooked nose comment. That is extremely distasteful, and in incredibly poor taste.

  4. My apologies if you find offense, anonymous. It certainly was not intended. It was in total reference to my dear departed crooked-nosed, good Jewish father. He's somewhere up in heaven appreciating the jest.

  5. I love the questions that follow your story... but of course, I would. :)

  6. You know, this is funny. This is the third time this week I've encountered someone that reference Jews and crooked noses. Is it a regional thing?? I belonged to a pretty large synagogue growing up, and went to an EXTREMELY Jewish college... and sure, there were people with funny noses, but no more than I ever noticed in any other religious population. I wonder if there really is a correlation between Jews and noses, and if so, does it localize to certain regions?

  7. I'm Coasting Anon's sister. Our father was 1st generation American, born in Brooklyn. Watching television he would tell us he knew if a celebrity was a Jew or not by their noses and he would tease us about our Gentile noses.

    He passed away just over a year ago and we both miss him and his quirks and his mannerisms and his love and unwavering support very much. We both saw the Jesus doll as an homage to him and the heritage they both share.

    I don't know about the region where facial features come from, but I know the comment about the doll's nose was a subjective one made out of honor and love for our Dad and our heritage.

  8. "...crooked nose and all, like a good Jew."

    Wow. Just...wow.

  9. Oh, okay. So we can use derogatory stereotypes as long as we're honoring a loved one in the process? Just want to be clear.

  10. Rebecca - the only thing derogatory about a crooked nose is that apparently you think it is a bad thing. I have a crooked nose. My dad had a crooked nose. His ENTIRE family had crooked noses. Every Jewish friend of my father I ever met had crooked noses. Does every single Jew on the planet have a crooked nose? Probably not. Is it a stereotype? Sure. Derogatory? Not in the least - unless you want to tell me my son's own crooked nose, inherited from his Zayde, is a bad thing.

  11. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! There. I said it for you. The point was not lost on me. I know what a treasure it is to you to remember the funny little things your dad said.

  12. I'm really disappointed that people got hung up on the crooked nose and missed the whole point of this post, which was actually quite beautiful. But then... people do this every day and all the time. I'm just grateful you wrote it. Thanks.

  13. I agree with Kasia. It's just so...*disappointing* when those oversensitive types get so HUNG UP on the highly offensive reinforcement of ethnic stereotypes. I mean, come on. It's not like they haven't had, like, dozens of years to heal or whatever since anti-semitic Nazi propaganda littered the streets of Germany.

  14. I am well aware that this 'Anonymous' person, who also posted as Rebecca, is just this side of being an internet troll (Definition: someone who posts controversial and usually irrelevant or off-topic messages in an online community, such as an online discussion forum or chat room, with the intention of baiting other users into an emotional response[1] or to generally disrupt normal on-topic discussion.).

    The best thing to do is to ignore the comments just as they have ignored my responses and have now blatantly insulted me, my son, my father, and over half of my father’s family who were lost in the Holocaust, by continuing to argue that my comment about a crooked nose is derogatory.

    If you, Anonymous/Rebecca, would like to have a thoughtful and constructive conversation about this, I invite you to provide your real name and your real email address where you can be contacted. Until that point, I refuse to be drawn in any further than I already have and I encourage my readers to ignore this person as well. It won’t be easy…trust me, they will post again, maybe not here…but somewhere…but if we stay the course and continue to not give them a reaction, eventually they will leave.

  15. Ah yes, censoring comments. The true sign of a coward.