Poetry & Words, Theology

Hallelujah for the Elephants

Toddler's Interpretation of Bible Stories via Oaxacaborn

“I’ll read to you, I’ll read it for you!” my three-year-old clamored happily as she climbed up and sat down on the pillow next to me. Holding the little Bible in her tiny hands, she turned the pages and began.

On Noah:This is Noah. And the boat. Animals! Come in the boat. And then it stopped raining.

Hallelujah for the penguins.

Hallelujah for the flamingos.

Hallelujah for the elephants. And then there was a rainbow.

In her poetic, praiseful declaration of hallelujahs, I thought of us, mankind, the rescued ones. Hallelujah for this life, hallelujah for this mercy, hallelujah for every breath.

On Moses and the Red Sea:So in the middle of the night they were thinkin’, it would be really nice if this wasn’t a lake. And then! Oh, MORNING! The sun was shining.

The simplicity of her faith captures me. She speaks of the impossible as though it were not impossible. “Oh Lord, it would be really nice if you could make a way through here.” And then, without hesitation, “Yes Lord! Glorious morning! You have done it!”

And we are the rescued ones again.

On David and Goliath:Well this one just kept getting bigger and bigger and that one got smaller and smaller.”

He is the Lord of paradox. In Him, our fears are packed up into tiny light burdens, and in place of our weakness, strength grows.

On Daniel and the lions:They pushed the lions in the hole. And on the morning they could hear them all roaring.”

We’ve heard this story a thousand times, so it’s lost its terror and miraculousness to us. But think of the roar — the dread! — and the way that sound must have punctuated the horror-filled air. But redemption — and rescue — was right around the corner.

On the nativity:God has to ride a donkey. Then the tiny baby was born and it was a boy. Then they had to bring gifts because it was Jesus.”

God, made man. God with us. God among us.

On the gospels: “She touched his coat and didn’t have to be sorry. And he put mud on his eyes. And he loves all the children, all the children. The END.”

She touched his coat — and didn’t have to be sorry! Condemnation, gone. Shame, gone. Guilt, gone, every last drop.

We’re the forgiven, lifted up.

The downtrodded, lifted up.

The tired, lifted up.

We are the rescued ones, the freed.

She was done reading, but the next day, she tugged on my hand, and looked up at me.

Mama?” she said, “Sometimes when we don’t realize it, God and Jesus and the angels — they have wings — are helping us.

Out of the mouths of babes, child, out of the mouths of babes.

Toddler's Interpretation of Bible Stories via Oaxacaborn


1 thought on “Hallelujah for the Elephants”

  1. Aveline’s Bible story telling is delightful and she knew the Noah story and the others well. She could have told all the stories to a group of eager listeners!
    I also loved her letter to me. It is wonderful to read and reread.
    Thank you!!!!


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