‘Amy Made That!’

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When my daughter Amy was a preschooler, she loved to delight us with her homemade creations. One such creation was a piece of construction paper onto which she glued many pieces of yarn. She further adorned the paper with squiggles of glorious colors from her enormous collection of markers. This masterpiece was made for the purpose of expressing her love to us, her parents.

There were many other creations over the years, in various media, all expressive of her inner artist and her love for Mommy and Daddy. Amy’s creations were quite beautiful. Many have been packed away as treasured heirlooms. I have little doubt that when we unpack them in years to come, they will not have lost their beauty.

It was not, however, the beauty of Amy’s creations or the fact that her precious little fingers made them that brought us so much joy. It was, instead, the presentation of her gifts that elicited our delight. As we admired her works of art, she would loudly and joyfully announce, “Amy made that!”

“Amy made that!” became an everyday expression in our home. Nine years later, we still lovingly say, “Amy made that!” when she shows us a more sophisticated drawing of a dog or a horse.

Recently, while leading Children in Worship at our church, I was again reminded of the joy we feel when we create something. I noticed a bracelet made of simple plastic beads on the wrist of one young boy. It caught my eye because Amy and I had made more than 50 such bracelets several months earlier for a school fund-raiser. I knew immediately that this boy’s bracelet was one I had made. I remembered the beads. I remembered thoughtfully placing the silver-colored spacers between the orange and blue beads. I remembered how much I wanted it to be special. I felt proud and joyful about this little plastic bracelet. At 50 years old, I felt an overwhelming desire to say, “Diane made that!”

Suddenly, God spoke.

Right there, as I sat on the floor with 15 children ages 3-8, God spoke to me. I heard no still, quiet voice; God spoke right out loud to my heart. He said, “I love you because I made you. I take such joy in what I have created. I know every detail of you.”

What an awesome God we serve. He weaves transforming experiences into days and moments of our lives—experiences that deepen our knowledge, our love, and our trust in him. God selects these teachable moments for his children through wrinkles in time, turning years into mere seconds. He is a God of surprise, a God of wonder, a God of mystery. A God who knows every detail of his creation. A God who takes joy in us because he made us.

Reflection

Everything has being through the love of God.

—Julian of Norwich

About the Author

Diane Van Ryn lives in Florida with her husband and her daughter, Amy. She is actively involved in the children’s worship and GEMS ministries of Bradenton (Fla.) Christian Reformed Church.
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