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?