Thursday, March 18, 2010

Emily Meets Jesus

My children are blessed with train genes passed down through two great-grandfathers from both sides of the family.

When we were dating, my husband and I would compare notes on our grandfathers' train rooms with the detailed layouts, buildings, people, faux gravel. I remember one summer visit up north found my Grandpa John had cut a hole in the side of the basement wall so the train could go outside through some bushes, weave around the track and then return indoors. Sure, my own daddy's small N gauge train layout fascinated me, but cutting a hole in your house was taking play to a whole new level! To a kid, this was as cool as cool could get.

With this background, it was not too surprising that early last year, my oldest, Wyatt, suddenly fell in love with trains on a chance meeting with Thomas the Tank engine at Barnes and Noble. The boy who should have been enthralled with a whole store full of the books he loved was more excited about the wooden track glued to a small table and the small trains he could lead across trestles and through tunnels.

This one encounter with trains was all it took. Several purchases from EBay and Craigslist later, Thomas and his friends entered our lives, making the train table the main focus of our living room and the names of each engine a part of my daily vocabulary.

From listening to my daddy and Wyatt watch train whistle videos on YouTube to grumbling over another engine left invisible on the busy rug for my bare feet to stumble over, trains are a normal part of my family's life.

The same is true with my family's belief in Jesus. Loving Jesus is not something we do just on Sunday. He is a part of daily life, of everyday conversation, of the books we read and of the songs we sing.

This everyday-ness of God in our lives that I merely take for granted was made strikingly clear to me a few weeks ago in a most precious way. One afternoon, I walked in to find Wyatt had parked Emily and her tender in front of the tomb where Jesus lay tucked inside, waiting for Easter and for the stone to be rolled away.

While the image made me laugh, he thought nothing of combining the two together. As he played, I watched pudgy little hands slowly, carefully remove the stone to take out Jesus and the angel. I listened to him have Emily ask Jesus why he died and then have Jesus respond that he was alive and in heaven up in the clouds.

The story of Easter, as told through a wooden train engine and a plastic Jesus.


But still as powerful as when it was first told by the angels who announced Jesus was alive.


  1. I. love. this.

    I grew up with the trains too, but never saw one hear the gospel.

    Give that Wyatt a big hug.

  2. That is so cool! You must be so proud of your kids. They're finding Jesus in everything they do. Way to go, Mom!

  3. Jesus said that heaven is opened to those who become like a little child. I think your kids are a perfect example of what he was talking about. Great post

  4. Awe, what beautiful family pics that seem to capture the moment of Wyatt's understanding. Now when you see them, you will be forever reminded. How sweet.