The Gospel in Children’s Literature

We had two different Realtors showing our home Sunday afternoon, so after spending some time with one of our friends from church, we went to Barnes and Noble and read the mackerdoodle books in order to give everyone enough time to flood us with full price offers (one can dream).  We discovered a new book that struck Jonathan and I as a picture of the gospel – so much that my husband who says we can purchase nothing until we move because we’ll just have to move it, bought the book for our library.

The book is Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney, and is about Little Nutbrown Hare trying to tell Big Nutbrown Hair how much he loves him.  Here’s an excerpt:

“I love you as high as I can reach,” said Little Nutbrown Hare.

“I love you as high as I can reach,” said Big Nutbrown Hare.

That is very high, thought Little Nutbrown Hare.  I wish I had arms like that.

The story is just a series of interchanges like that, in which Little Nutbrown Hare does something to show his love, and Big Nutbrown Hare does it bigger, because Big Nutbrown Hare is bigger.  Little Nutbrown Hare ends each interchange in awe at how much bigger Big Nutbrown Hare is, and wants to be big like Big Nutbrown Hare.

I’m sure that all Sam McBratney was contemplating when he wrote the book was the relationship between a father and a son – and in just that context it is a beautiful story;  but Jonathan and I both saw something deeper.  We saw the truth of the gospel.

Sinful man says “God, I need you to forgive this much sin,” and he reaches out his thumb and forefinger to God spread apart so that day light is barely visible between them.

God says, “I will forgive this much sin,” and he reaches out his thumb and forefinger holding a cup filled with all the sin from sinful man’s conception until his death.  It is so big that sinful man thinks he (we) may drown in it, but God lifts that cup to his lips and drinks it dry until there is no hint of sin left.

Sinful man, who is now Redeemed man, looks at God with brand new eyes, and says, “Oh.  That’s a lot of forgiveness!  God do you love me this much?”  and he jumps up as high as he can with his new knees, and reaches up his new fingers as far as they can reach.

God says, “I love you this much,” and He sits up, squares his shoulders and fills the heavens.

Redeemed man says, “Oh.  That’s a lot of love!  How can I love like that?”

God reaches down and takes Redeemed man’s hand and says, “I will show you.”

Redeemed man says to God, “God, do you love me this much?” and he stretches his new arms out from new finger tip to new finger tip.

God says, “I love you this much,” and he fills eternity, taking Redeemed man into his eternal embrace.  Redeemed man rests in God’s arms and spends the rest of eternity saying “Oh.  That’s a lot of love!”

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.     Romans 8:38, 39

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About Coralie

After 11 years of infertility, I am now a mother to three, a wife of a Presbyterian (ARP) preacher and a struggling homemaker. Welcome to my little corner of the net. Kick off your shoes, put your feet up and join the conversation. View all posts by Coralie

4 responses to “The Gospel in Children’s Literature

  • Andrea

    Have you thought about authoring (and Jonathan illustrating) a children’s book along the lines of your comparison? Whoo-hoo on the folks looking at your house! It always encouraging to have “traffic” when selling one’s home :0).

  • Donna Long

    Another book to look for …after you move… is The Pumpkin Patch by Liz Curtis Higgs.

  • Tera Montgomery

    That is one of our favorite books around here. It helped us start one of our few arguments around here…”I love you MORE!” that the girls love to join in on 🙂

  • Adrienne

    Oh yes, this is one of our favorites. It leaves me feeling all mommy-gushy every time I read it :-).

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