Candy Cane Spaceship
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!”