Thursday, July 17, 2014

Play-Doh God

We've had play-doh kicking around our house for thirty years or more. I've lost track of how many cans I've bought or in later years, the number of batches I've cooked up. It has entertained children for hours on days dripping. I have feasted on myriad "cookies" made in child-sized pans. Tiny bits have been found mashed into carpets and scattered under tables large and small. I have toted the bin of assorted cookie cutters, pans and rolling pins from house to house like a treasure  chest waiting to expose something magnificent.
After making a fresh batch of white and then purple, I discovered my Play-Doh God. The best treasure of all.
Needing a children's sermon illustration, I gathered the white dough into my hands. I kneaded and manipulated it until I was satisfied with the shape I had formed. It struck me that those hardened bits stuck to cookie cutters and nestled amongst the pans in my bin, were no longer malable. I had the right to squish and maneuver the clay in my hands as it was mine. It belonged to me. Unlike the crusted pebbles of dough, it had yielded itself to my efforts.
Isn't that the way God, would have me? Yielded? He has that right, as I belong to Him. He is the Play-Doh God who manipulates and changes me if I will allow Him to. One truth learned.
I wanted to teach these young hearts how we can never be separated from our God. I added a dab of purple clay into the center of white. This represented asking Christ into our lives. Then I considered each time I would pray or read God's word. With each effort to think of God, I would squash the dough.
Pray. Push. Sing. Pull. Fellowship. Fold and smash.
Soon, the purple was found throughout the white. Isn't that the same with us? The more we seek Him the more we have of Him.
This is when I discovered great wealth. I was no longer able to eradicate the purple from the white. Oh I could remove bits if I had chosen to. But never all. "For nothing can separate us from the love of Christ." I have read that Scripture repeatedly but it wasn't until I maneuvered that clay myself that I could experience the reality of that truth.
One last gift remained. That Play-Doh? It did not change. Yes it could be more permeated with the purple forming a sweet lavender. But that was just a vision of Christ in me. No, the real truth lay in the changeless color. It did not suddenly become blue or green as it rolled and squished in my hands. So often when I feel God really pushing me in my life, I think that He somehow has stopped being good or full of mercy, because I can not feel those things in that moment. But here in my hands was proof that my God never changes.
All these years as I have toted dough and bins around, I had not realized that God, He is a Play-Doh God. Lord of all, changeless, and never separating Himself from us. These were cherished riches indeed. And so simple that even a child could understand. Or one Mamsie, relishing truth.

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