Candy Cane Spaceship

December 14, 2009 by  
Filed under Christian Life, Family Focus

By Jane Thornton

“Oh, Mommy, it’s what I always just wanted!”

This gushing exclamation from my three-year-old son melted my heart and that of every family member in the room. A repeat of that ringing approbation became our goal over the next few sets of gift-giving occasions. So, when Matthew, with his unique and mysterious imagination, announced that he wanted a candy cane spaceship for his birthday, creative genius throughout the clan went to work.

Phone calls were exchanged. Gentle inquisitions probed his fanciful mind. The usual answer, though, lacked detail:  “You know, a candy cane spaceship.” Aunt Nanny, natural-born artist, took up the challenge. With papier-mâché, glue, and paint, she created a masterpiece. The resulting red and white striped saucer, with a clear plastic dome for a bridge, perfectly-sized for a newly four boy, awed everyone who saw it. Except Matthew.

He liked it all right. He played with it. He ran around making alien noises. He thanked his aunt prettily. But it wasn’t what he had in mind.

Not to be defeated, Aunt Nanny went back to bat. When Matt opened his Christmas present, every relative released oohs and ahs. My sister had created an inventive pièce de résistance. A hundred real candy canes comprised her sculpture of a flying saucer. Two layers of the peppermint treats were glued curved ends together, with the sticks meeting to form points. A series of these shapes fanned around the centerpiece of mint lozenges forming a dome.

An impressive feat. Gorgeous and edible. Still, not quite what Matt had in mind. We threw up our hands. I’m pretty sure I saw disgust cross Aunt Nanny’s face.

We cracked open another box of candy canes and asked Matt to show us what his spaceship looked like. He snatched up one and held it upside down, then hung two more from the original facing one direction, and finally hooked a last treat facing the other way. That was it. “See, a candy cane spaceship.” He trotted off to play with the remainder of his gifts.

Does God feel what my sister did? Think of Ephesians 3:20-21. “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” (NIV)

How often does he offer us more than we can imagine, and we shrug it off because it’s not what we were expecting or looking for? Can we learn to say, “Oh, Father, it’s more than what I always just wanted!”

About Jane Thornton

Jane Thornton, English teacher, wife, and mom of two almost grown children, strives to break free of the automatic boring label attached to those roles. Her two suspense novels eagerly await a willing publisher, and her articles search for inspiration in the humor and tears of life.


8 Responses to “Candy Cane Spaceship”
  1. Patricia says:

    Good story. God often uses kids to teach us about ourselves. But when you think of it – why not. After all wE are His kids.

  2. Sweet (pun intended) story and a great reminder to keep open our mind and hearts to the blessings given so freely by our Heavenly Father. Thank you, Jane.

    I would have loved to have seen the spaceships!

  3. Holly Smith says:

    How clever Jane-enjoyed that! Holly

  4. Julie Marx says:

    So true. Thanks Jane.

  5. Dorothy Ward-Winters says:

    It’s a great story with a huge impact.
    God’s desire for us is simple, “Only believe.”

  6. Lee Carver says:

    Oh,the inscrutable mind of a child! Guess what, dear friend. It doesn’t get a lot better for many years. I do love this scripture, Jane. It tells us of God’s extreme generosity, which we choose to accept or not. You tell the story so well.

  7. Karen Harrison says:

    Such a wonderful story. Thanks, Jane, for telling it like it is.

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