I haven't always been an emotional person.  Before I had kids, almost nothing made me weepy.  Now that I have kids, I find myself teary-eyed all the time.  And this week's featured book, The Pine Tree Parable, by Liz Curtis Higgs, definitely brought a tear to my eye. 

We're trying to raise our children with an understanding of God and Jesus.  And while they seem to have a general idea of God as the Creator and as someone deserving of our praise, it's very hard to explain to children the sacrifice that the Lord made for us.  This parable does an excellent job of putting into child-friendly terms just what that sacrifice meant.  Each page of the story is beautifully illustrated and also contains a bit of scripture at the bottom which mirrors the action taking place in the scene.

Beyond the parable of Christ, this story can stand on its own very well as a simple tale of giving from our plenty to help those in need.  This time of year I am in constant wonder that I am surrounded by so much 'stuff' while so many struggle to fill their basic needs.  I complain to myself about stepping on our piles of toys, then think of the children in countries all around the world who have no toys at all.  This book is a wonderful reminder to us all, young and old, of the great satisfaction that comes from sacrificial giving, even if it is difficult to do.  I'm hoping that my children, young as they are, will hear this story and be able to apply it just a little to their lives - even if it only means helping me box up a few of those toys to donate to needy children this Christmas.  I hope, too, that you will find this simple story as inspiring as I did.


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