He sat before me transfixed; his eyes focused intently on the pieces of flannelgraph before him. I guess he’d never heard the story before and was mesmerized by a Man with such power.
When the story began, the fascination was upon the felt pictures which affixed themselves easily to the large blue board. But, as my two-year-old grandson listened, his eyes widened as the waves increased and the dark flannel cloud replaced the white fluffy one.
I told of the boat, first rocking the Man slowly to sleep, then swaying wildly by the force of the wind. Judah looked at me anxiously as I mimicked the rocking motion of the boat on the sea.
Judah’s eyes riveted back to the board as a strip of gold flannel bolted from the black cloud, barely missing the tiny vessel.
“The friends were scared and scrambled to the sleeping Man curled in the bow of the boat,” I exclaimed. “‘Jesus! Don’t you care about us?’, they cried.”
As I placed a standing replica of a 3-inch Jesus in the bow of the crowded flannel boat, Judah leaned forward a little to see what He would do.
Within moments, I’d completed my part of the story, yet, it remained fresh upon my grandson’s mind. Very gently, Judah recreated the climatic scene and repeated the words as he manipulated the imprinted cut-outs.
“Jesus said, ‘Winds, be quiet!’” and his small chubby hand removed the ominous black cloud.
“Water, be quiet!” And the billowing wave disappeared to the floor.
“Lightening, be quiet!” Judah exclaimed, as he peeled the lightening bolt away from the little boat.
That story, so old in my own heart, came afresh in my living room today.
This Jesus, the One depicted by a small piece of flannel graph, was alive and moving among us.
This Jesus, Who had once calmed the winds and the waves, is still interested in the volatile state of my own heart and emotions.
This Jesus, Who could sleep amidst a storm, continues to call me to rest in Him.
This Jesus is not just a children’s story. This Jesus is my Way, my Truth and my Life. This Jesus is how I get up in the morning and how I sleep through the night. This Jesus calls to me daily and prays for me continually. This Jesus in my Past, my Present and my Future.
Photo courtesy of Sara Jeng Grewer.