Jenny and the World

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I heard this story in the 1980s from a pastor friend. Actually it was his sermon one Sunday. One mark of a great sermon is its shelf-life. ~TD


Jenny’s Puzzle

One day in Kindergarten, Jenny was given a jigsaw puzzle to solve. On one side was a map of the world. On the other was a picture of her own smiling face. All the pieces were scattered. The other children were each given their own personalized puzzles.
The teacher told the kids their assignment was to put their world puzzle together. All the children started in with the fun and interest kids bring to so many things.
Soon all of them were slowing down, showing signs of frustration. Some were daydreaming, others hanging their heads down and pouting, others starting to squabble over perceived offenses by their classmates.
Then one of the daydreamers, Jenny, returned her focus to the puzzle. In just a few minutes she completed her challenge. The teacher was very pleased, and asked Jenny to come up and tell her friends how she solved the world puzzle.
Jenny, beaming with glee, said, “It was easy. I stopped trying to put the world together, and started putting my face together. When I got me right, the world got right!” 

“Oh, that my people would listen to me!
Oh, that Israel would follow me,
walking in my paths!
How quickly I would then subdue their enemies!
How soon my hands would be upon their foes!
Those who hate the LORD would cringe before him;
they would be doomed forever.
But I would feed you with the finest wheat.
I would satisfy you with wild honey from the rock.”
– Psalm 81:13-16
“…if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
– 2 Chronicles 7:14
“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
– Matthew 6:33

I believe when a person turns around to please God by accepting the Lordship of Jesus Christ, several things happen. That person begins to change towards the likeness of Christ. God Himself honors that turn and blesses that person’s life with increased well-being. Eternal life is granted to that person. All their sins are washed away. And there is a ripple effect emanating from that choice in everyone that person encounters, a quiet world-changing revolution. 

“When I got me right,
the world got right!” 

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0 responses to “Jenny and the World

  1. so very true….pure and simple from the mouth of a child 🙂

  2. A Baby’s Hug ~
    We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly sitting and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, ‘Hi.’ He pounded his fat baby hands on the high chair tray. His eyes were crinkled in laughter and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin, as he wriggled and giggled with merriment.
    I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man whose pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would-be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map.
    We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled.. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists.. ‘Hi there, baby; hi there, big boy. I see ya, buster,’ the man said to Erik.
    My husband and I exchanged looks, ‘What do we do?’
    Erik continued to laugh and answer, ‘Hi.’
    Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby. Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room, ‘Do ya patty cake? Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek- a-boo.’
    Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously a drunk.
    My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in silence; all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid-row bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments.
    We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot. The old man sat poised between me and the door. ‘Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik,’ I prayed. As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to sidestep him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby’s ‘pick-me-up’ position. Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man.
    Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love and kinship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission laid his tiny head upon the man’s ragged shoulder. The man’s eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor, cradled my baby’s bottom and stroked his back. No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time.
    I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms and his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding voice, ‘You take good care of this baby.’
    Somehow I managed, ‘I will,’ from a throat that contained a stone.
    He pried Erik from his chest, lovingly and longingly, as though he were in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, ‘God bless you, ma’am, you’ve given me my Christmas gift.’
    I said nothing more than a muttered thanks. With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, ‘My God, my God, forgive me.’
    I had just witnessed Christ’s love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes. I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not. I felt it was God asking, ‘Are you willing to share your son for a moment?’ when He shared His for all eternity. How did God feel when he put his baby in our arms 2000 years ago.
    The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, ‘To enter the Kingdom of God , we must become as little children.’

  3. Wonderful story!

  4. Your use of something other than the AKJV is offensive to a true believer. If you can’t understand the AKJV…then you are nothing but an evangelical SUNday keeper…

    • Jim, I think you owe Traildust an apology. The Bible came from the Catholic Church and it was around many years before the King James Version.

    • Jim, what does my choice of Bible translation have to do with the subject of this article?

      “When I got me right, the world got right!”

      The point is that we can evoke a greater revolution by getting right with Jesus Christ than can be accomplished by all our efforts at fixing the world. And that point is supported by these scriptures, in any translation.

  5. In this chaotic world it’s always the children that have the ability to break things down to what truly matters. Sort of like quibbling over which bible the verse came from….right DooLittle? It matters only that the beauty of the story came through and I think traildust did a fantastic job. You may want to read the article about the Washington Redskins that’s also been posted today Doolittle, it’s all about perceived “offense.” You may learn something.

  6. Thank you Jim Doolittle for the opportunity to share Jesus teachings:
    Strangely, the people who made Jesus livid with anger were the ones the modern press might call Bible-belt fundamentalists. This group, “The Pharisees”, devoted their lives to following God. They gave away exact tithes, obeyed each minute law in the Old Testament, and sent out missionaries to gain converts. Almost no sexual sin or violent crime was visible among “The Pharisees”. Yet Jesus denounced these model citizens. Why?
    To answer that question , I go back to the humble crayfish creeping along the creek bottoms of Louisiana. In comparing it’s exoskeleton with my more advanced internal skeleton, several differences suggest themselves and throw light on Jesus’ strong statements in Matthew 23 and Luke 11 about the dangers of legalism.
    First, the crayfish relies almost exclusively on it’s skeleton for protection. It’s dependable armor plating can ward off enemies. Humans, in contrast, have soft, vulnerable exteriors. But as the rules God gave to free Christ’s Body begin to calcify, we tend to hunker down inside them for protection. We develop a defensive exoskeleton. In his “Letters to an American Lady”, C.S. Lewis said, “Nothing gives a more spuriously good conscience than keeping rules, even if there has been a total absence of real charity and faith.”
    Legalists fool you. Like the Pharisees and the “athletes for God,” they impress you with their unquestioned dedication.
    Surely, you think, they have a high view of God. But I learned as I grew up in a legalistic environment that legalism actually errs by lowering sights. It spells out exactly what a person has to do to meet God’s approval. In so doing, legalists can miss the whole point that the gospel is a gift freely given by God to people who don’t deserve it.
    A meticulous researcher named Merton Strommen surveyed seven thousand Protestant youths from many denominations, asking whether they agreed with the following statements:
    “The way to be accepted by God is to try sincerely to live a good life.” More than 60 percent agreed.
    “God is satisfied if a person lives the best life he can.” Almost 70 percent agreed.
    “The main emphasis of the gospel is on God’s rules for right living.” More than half agreed! One would think the apostle Paul and Martin Luther had never opened their mouths, or that Jesus had never come to die. Christians- a majority of young ones- still believe that following a code of rules gets you accepted by God.
    What else but our relentless, harping insistence on strict rules could cause this phenomenon? Shouldn’t we devote equal time to explaining that rules are mere,y joints and bones to make our Body effective, and not a ladder to God?
    From the book: “Fearfully And Wonderfully Made” by Dr. Paul Brand & Philip Yancey

  7. Trail Dust, Sheri, Notherngirl, & Mike:
    I couldn’t have said it better than your rebukes of Doolittle. Thank you! 🙂

  8. Jim, I hope that you soon get over your extreme obsessive, unjustified legalism. Most Christians to be seen in heaven will have been brought close to God through interpretations other than the AKJV. I am trying to be helpful here, not insulting, criticisms like yours are like a form of jihadist attempt at spiritual self-improvement that has no place in judgment of other Christians. There are but a very few Bibles to be criticized,, the Jefferson Bible, for example.


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