Kittens, a pad of paper, relaxing, and kind touches…these were the things that children named when I asked them about gentleness. After we read the book, God In Between by Sandy Eisenberg Sasso, the children remarked that the man and the woman searching for God were gentle to one another after they went searching. In this story the people in the town believe they need God to fix their houses and roads. Some doubt that God can be found. What they learn is that God is in the space between us, especially when we help one another.
One wondered how God is everywhere, but cannot be seen. I agreed that this is tricky. Sasso’s book offers an answer that brings comfort and leaves room for mystery.
Last week I attended Wild Goose Festival with dear friends. Throughout the week many conversations came up on the relationship between parenting styles and our view of God. I heard from many who were searching for resources on gentle parenting that reflect a less authoritarian view of God than they had been raised with. Cindy Wang Brandt is doing some great work in this area if you are asking similar questions. Please be in touch if I can provide additional resources.
A great list of picture books that relate to the Fruits of the Spirit can be found on the Picture Book Theology website.
Discussion starters about the fruits of the spirit for older children can be found on the Building Faith website.