Beyond the Altar (Living as Easter People)

May 5, 2010 | 19 comments

I’m wrist-deep in dish-water when the littlest one tugs at my T-shirt.

“Ple-eeease, Mommy, will you come see?” she pleads, and I abandon dishes at the invitation to discover what she’s secretly created behind the closed door. She leads me in a bouncing swirl of chiffon and bows and flowers in her hair.

She opens the door into her magical world of play, and looks up for my approval. I ooh-and-aah over her little Eden.

She begs me, “Sit, sit!!”

I can barely find a place to put my feet. The entire room has been transformed into a Polly Pocket village. In one corner, she’s set up a restaurant. In another corner, a doctor’s office, and a playground and a townhouse where all the Pollies live. There’s a castle and a shopping mall and a train and a school bus.

“Here Mom,” she says, pressing a plastic figurine in my hand, “You be Jesus.”

And that’s all I’ve ever wanted to be to her: Jesus.

I set him up in the Lego-land sanctuary of plastic pews and a cross. (And yes, that is Stitch in the background. And wouldn’t you know it? Princess Jasmine is the church secretary!)

We find a small nail and place it on the table.

“That’s to remind us of the spikes,” she says. And we remember what really held Jesus to the cross. And we recall how we decided to keep the Easter spike out all year long in our home, too. Yes, we are Easter people. And, yes we stand in victory at the mouth of the empty tomb. But we also bow low before the mystery of the Good Friday cross — all year round.

Anna moves her Pollies about their world — from the restaurant to the church to the castle to the train. And I — with my Jesus — stay inside the church.

“Mommy,” she furrows the brow, “You aren’t playing right.”

“Why not?” I ask.

“Because your Guy has to do other stuff, too,” she says, and then takes Jesus to show me how.

She becomes the hands and feet of Jesus. And through her, I see what it means to live as Easter people.

How often do we — the Easter people — leave Him at the altar, under the steeple, or in the quiet of the sanctuary? Yet he calls to us from our doorsteps: “Let me in. I want all of you — not just your Sunday-morning devotion.”

And today, sweet Anna shows us how:

“See, Mommy, He’s the teacher.”

And, she says, He’s also a blogger! ~smile~

(Oh that the words of my mouth, and the meditations of my heart by acceptable to Jesus here in this place on the World Wide Web!)

We dine with Him.

And yes, we have fun with Jesus. Joy is not a feeling or a place or an occasional mountaintop experience. True Joy is a Person!

With Jesus, the future’s so bright, we gotta wear shades.

Today, may each of us — as the Easter People — reflect Jesus in our everyday worship, our everyday work, and our everyday play.

Every. Single. Day.

Jesus, Let me be a reflection of You!

holy experience

Each Wednesday, I join Ann Voskamp as we “Walk With Him.” Together, Ann’s community of bloggers considers spiritual practices that draw us nearer to His heart.

by | May 5, 2010 | 19 comments


  1. Missie

    That is awesome! You have taught your daughter well! Happy Mother's Day!

  2. mom2six

    Taking Jesus with us everywhere and letting him be our everything. Such good lessons our little ones teach us!

  3. Lyla Lindquist

    Doggone it, I thought that first line said "behind the closet door…

    Since when do I have to take notes on your posts? Aside of Jesus typing with His forehead (a supernatural ability that I'm confident He has), there's way too much for me here.

    But this — I'll keep just this: When you and your Jesus stay in the church, you are so not playing right.

    Remind Anna today that she is as awesome as I thought.

  4. Faith Imagined

    This was such a blessing to read! It is amazing what lessons we learn from our children.

    BTW, I love all the pictures! Your daughter is adorable!!!

  5. Shirl

    The innocence and purity of this is tear-provoking! What a strong lesson in such simple play! I am so happy you shared the pictures too!

  6. Lisa notes...

    What a precious, precious post! I love everything about it. You are doing well with your daughter!

  7. Janis@Open My Ears Lord

    How sweet! Your little one is creative, just like you. All the color in the pictures reminds me of what a beautifully colorful world the Lord has given us.

    Thank you for the reminder to not leave Jesus at the altar but to make Him present in our every activity, every day.


  8. Stephani


  9. Beth E.

    This touched my heart…thank you so much for sharing the wisdom of your daughter!

  10. lynnmosher

    Oh, how I loved this! What a precious post and precious little daughter! I loved the "your Guy"! What great truths you have stitched in. I'm so glad I got to read this and see all the photos. So touching!

  11. Rose

    Oh what a great post. I love how children can remind us what we need to do as Christians. Out of the mouths of babes!

  12. lynnrush


  13. Bina

    Simply Beautiful!!!

    It always touches my heart when my kids play with Jesus! He has been a stuffed animal, a ceramic dolly and oh so many Littlest Pet Shop critters…it joyous!!

    Thanks for sharing this smile…and deep reminder today!

  14. Laura


    I'm speechless. See how you teach? Her Jesus is real. This just makes me smile and smile.

  15. A Simple Country Girl

    Easter People… I love it!

    That last image, with the reflection, is great.

    Thank you for sharing your heart and that same heart that beats in your girls is beauty again and again.


  16. Karen

    This was beyond precious…when He uses our little ones to show us things…it always just grabs hold of my heart and wrings it out….

  17. ~*Michelle*~

    oh my…..this makes my heart swell and skip a beat. I just love it.

    Happy Mother's Day, Jennifer… are such a blessing!

  18. thegypsymama

    oh there's nothing like kids for turning our point of view on it's head, is there?

    Beautiful vision she shared with us – the accessible, everyday Jesus that I want to have a play date with too!

    Thank you,


  19. Nichole

    Omy goodness. I am so moved at this illustration with this precious little girl. How lovely and such a
    simple bold reminder of His person-hood with us as His children.
    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this post!

    Thanks for sharing.
    Bless ya sister!


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