Can God speak to us through normal everyday items?
Empty your handbag (or Manbag) on to the table, go on I dare you! Let's be honest, if we did it wouldn't look like either of these pictures. The below is close but missing a few essentials...
If you're anything like me the toy car is a definite, maybe not the perfume which in this picture could be mistaken as a urine sample, though perhaps that's more likely. Add in a load of dust, granola crumbs, a half-eaten apple (debatable about whose it was to begin with), misplaced jewellery, a handful of raisins, 2 pink lipsticks one slightly different, a bloody plaster (bandaid), a Starbucks receipt from last year - probably connected to the granola, sunglasses for those brief 5 minutes we get here it Britain, and 3 pens: 1. A kids marker missing its lid, slowly spreading an emerald green ink stain the size of the Grand Canyon. 2. My journalling ballpoint that stopped working 3 months ago but I can't bare to part with it because it's flowery. So pretty. And 3. A boring, very practical, pen which I hate but I stole from my husband's much-more-efficient pencil case. He's been wondering where it is, so it'll be a good test to see if he reads this.
Oh and did I forget the 463 conkers? We can't forget them. Sadly. Thank you October.
As I was saying, empty your handbag on to the table, or if now you'd rather not, just gather a whole host of objects, perhaps between 10-15 from around the house. The point is you can use anything. A paper clip, a wooden spoon, a flower, a toy, a hairbrush, a rock...you get the point. Don’t over think it. Quirkier the better! The plainer the better! Lay them out in no particular order on the table and place some paper and pencils out too for later.
OR do the whole collection with them (or have them throw out the soggy raisins and bandaid from your handbag pile) and turn it into an extra game.
Then pray with them and help them understand what you're doing.
A simple prayer like this:
Holy Spirit, we love you and we love that you reveal the thoughts of the Father to us. We love your voice. Please come and speak to us in a new way today, using these items.
Then each take a minute or so to observe the objects.
How do you know which one?
Does one grab your attention? Does one ‘resonate’ or connect with you somehow? Like a ball that bounces with energy, rather than a beanbag that falls splat, does it bounce at you as you look at it?
Got one? Pick it up. “God is pointing out this … to me.”
But what is God saying through it?
Now ask him questions.
“What is it that you’re saying to me?”
What comes to mind?
Have your cubs ask specific questions:
"How am I like this object?"
"How does this object remind me of God or my life?"
Pause between your questions and listen.
What do you think of when you consider this object?
It could be very simple and clear, or very profound.
What comes to mind? An attribute? A memory? A story? A word?
Are there any more questions you need to ask God?
Is he asking you to do something about what he's said?
Don’t discount what comes to mind, and encourage your kids to share what they are thinking.
Remember to do it together.
Get out a piece of paper, or the children's journal, to keep a record of it.
Draw their object.
Write (or you write down for them) what God has said to them through it.
Thank God for speaking, and make a note if he's asking for any action.
Repeat the game a few times over the month to grow their confidence and notice how they develop hearing God's voice.
Don't be discouraged
Don't worry if they don't want to play every time or they don't know what God's saying. If nothing else you're teaching them to think differently, including Jesus in their every day and to be ready to recognise his voice if he wants to interrupt and speak. Even if it's through scissors or a smelly sock. I probably have one of those in my handbag too.
Some days they'll be interested and some days they may just want to talk about **insert the most annoying topic** all the live long day. Kids will be kids, and Holy Spirit will still speak to them, so we don't need to worry when he will if we keep creating opportunities and teaching them how to hear him.
So have fun and celebrate the little steps!