Super amazing, super awesome

CINDY TRANE CHRISTESON

"People are looking for not a watered-down, superficial religion, but

for a God who makes sense and a God who cares, a God who inspires

them to a higher way of living, but who can be understanding when

they fall along the way."

-- Joseph Girzone,

from Joshua and the

Shepherd

Our conversation was about fun, family, faith, failure and the

future. I was in between appointments, as was the woman next to me, a

woman whom I would be happy to have as a friend. She had dark brown

hair and deep brown eyes and when we spoke, I felt like I had her

full attention.

We began by sharing about children. She had been camping recently

and told me all about the children in her family, the group she was

with and how much everybody loved the beach. I heard about fun in the

sand and the sun and surf. I enjoyed her descriptions about

everything and everybody. I've never met her family, but I can

practically picture their eyes, their expressions, their interests,

and even what they wore at the beach.

The woman also shared that after sundown, her group sat around

campfires and cooked marshmallows under a clear sky dotted with

stars. She said that as the temperature dropped, and blankets and

towels were passed around, everybody's moods seemed to lift and the

discussions went deeper.

"God is super amazing, super awesome -- I don't get him at all,"

one young member of her group said.

I told her that I too never cease to be amazed at God's creativity

-- in the world he created and in the people he created. She seemed

surprised, and that is when our conversation moved to faith, failure

and the future.

Fortunately, she had been to a church that she really liked. She

said she loved the message and the music and the people around her.

Unfortunately she had been to a gathering with some of the people at

another time, and she felt like they were hypocrites. I tried to

explain that just as nobody is perfect, there is also no perfect

church, and the fact that she had a bad experience did not negate the

need and reason for churches.

She then told me of some of her failures. I expressed that we all

fail but that God wants us to approach him and connect with him, as

our perfect parent. I told her that I had certainly made my own share

of mistakes, but I loved the fact that God was more interested in my

spending time with him than he was of me pretending to be something

that I wasn't. I explained that my husband, Jon, and I had recently

visited with our granddaughter, Mary, and how much we longed just to

be with her. Mary didn't have to do or not do anything; we just

wanted to be with her.

I also told the woman that I'd heard a young boy on a church patio

recently say, "God is bigger than the biggest ocean, and he is better

than the bestest dessert."

I told her I loved the simple truth and the fact that God does

care and he is right there with us as we walk through life.

And you can quote me on that.

* CINDY TRANE CHRISTESON is a Newport Beach resident who speaks

frequently to parenting groups. She may be reached via e-mail at

cindy@onthegrow.com or through the mail at 537 Newport Center Drive,

Box 505, Newport Beach, CA 92660.

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