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Tend it or make it grow

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My sister and brother-in-law gave Norah a fantastic little book.  It is called Praying With Our Feet by Lisa Weaver.  Ingrid Hess is the illustrator.   Both women are Mennonites.

I’ll start with the fun things I love about the book:

  • first person from the perspective of a little girl
  • little girl’s aunt wears her baby in a stylin’ sling
  • illustrations are crazy colorful
  • the town map includes a community garden and food coop
  • diversity, diversity, diversity
  • the minister is a woman.  and she knits.  and wears sandals.

The serious things I love about the book:

It is a message of peace.  And action.  And love.  Praying with our feet, in this book, means walking for peace.  “While we walk, I remember that my minister often says the voice of Jesus is love.  Every person is our neighbor, not just the people who live right beside us.”

I thought of this book tonight because I’ve been listening to a sermon podcast series on Jonah.  I know, I know, when we think of Jonah, many of us immediately flashback to Sunday School pictures of a whale.  And that is really all we remember about this short book. 

Norah recently asked me to read the entire book straight from the Bible.  She had read a children’s version and I suppose she wanted to know more.  After reading the entire book to her, I suppose I wanted to know more. 

What I learned:

  • Nineveh was in Assyria
  • The Assyrians were brutal and oppressive to the Jewish people
  • The Assyrians were really, really brutal and oppressive to the Jewish people
  • Jonah was a Jew
  • Jonah wanted God to destroy Nineveh
  • While he sat hoping for Nineveh’s destruction, God sent a vine to provide shade for him
  • When God later sent a worm to whither the vine, Jonah pouted and said (rather dramatically) that he was angry enough to die

And here it is (Jonah 4:9-11):

But God said to Jonah, “Do you have a right to be angry about the vine?” 

“I do,” he said. “I am angry enough to die.”

But the LORD said, “You have been concerned about this vine, though you did not tend it or make it grow. It sprang up overnight and died overnight.  But Nineveh has more than a hundred and twenty thousand people who cannot tell their right hand from their left, and many cattle as well. Should I not be concerned about that great city?”

Ahhh, God tended these people and made them grow.  These are his children, too.  It is offensive, is it not?  These people who easily rivaled Hitler simply said they were sorry and they received grace. 

May God “guide our feet into the path of peace.”  (Luke 1:79)

For more on Christianity and nonviolence, may I recommend Jesus for President by Shane Claiborne or The Politics of Jesus by John Howard Yoder?  Amazing books, these two.     

The Episode in which Supernorah eats Secret Quinoa

How do you like my little superhero?  As you can see by her emblem (is that the right superhero term?), her weapon is peace. 


And yes, she is missing her pants.  Maybe she got a little confused in the phone booth.  I’m sure my hubby–who knows everything there is to know about superheroes (our netflix arrived today.  *sigh* tonight it will be the Fantastic Four)–could spin a wildly heroic tale involving secret identities, archenemies, and a sidekick.  Mmmm.  I’m not really feeling it.   

Thank you Caleb and Micah for Norah’s headwear!  Costume courtesy of Little Capers.   

You probably can’t tell what she is holding in her hand–a rice cake.  I’m so devious.  See, I love rice krispy treats.  But I wouldn’t feed one to my daughter–yikes!  all that sugar?  A few weeks ago, Norah caught me hiding in the kitchen eating one and mistook it for a rice cake.  Now, if she sees me with a rice krispy treat, she asks for a plain ole rice cake!  It is a win-win.  And while we’re talking devious…I have another:  Norah loves cheese grits–the packaged instant ones.  Have you see the ingredients?  Not healthy at all.  This morning, I cooked some quinoa (which is super-easy to make and full of amazing goodness), blended it with cheddar cheese, and voila–“Norah, your cheese grits are ready!”  Being a mama is so much fun!  Though my collard green experiment failed.  I cooked some collards last night and told her they were the leaves that Littlefoot and Petrie eat in “The Land Before Time.”  Yeah, she didn’t fall for that one.