"A real house, Mom?"
"Yes, but it was child's size...to fit her perfectly."
"Oh, goody, I like stories like this!" the daughter exclaimed.
The mother continued, "Well, her daddy gave her this house with a perfect little path leading up to it. It was very quaint. There were window boxes and a Dutch door, so pretty on the outside! Guess what?"
"He said that she could decorate it however she wanted. She could pick the furniture, the paint, curtains, everything!"
Doubtfully, the daughter questioned, "Is this a true story?"
"Yes! For furniture, the little girl picked out an old cardboard box and covered it with a moldy tarp. She rolled in some heavy, ugly rocks from the yard to use for chairs. They were very uncomfortable to sit on; they poked in all the wrong places."
"What? Why would she do that? Why didn't she get furniture?"
"That was the furniture she chose," her mother explained.
"I would never do that!" The daughter shook her head incredulously.
Drawing her daughter closer, she continued the story, "There's more! Her mother offered the little girl full use of the kitchen! Any time the little girl wanted to serve food to her guests she could go to the fridge and cupboards and take whatever she wanted."
"Anything? Even candy?"
"Yep, even candy. But there were pretty cakes, and spicy tacos, and colorful fruits also. She could have anything she wanted for her guests."
"I know what I would pick!" she said confidently.
With thanksgiving that her daughter was listening attentively to the story she said, "Well, let me tell you what she picked. She pulled out the broccoli and dumped about a cup of garlic salt all over it, until you couldn't even see the green. Then she emptied the dishwater into a clear pitcher and colored it yellow with food coloring. She pretended to offer sweet lemonade!"
"I don't like this girl! She makes bad choices!"
"Mmhmm. That's just what I think also. Do you know that we are just like this little girl?"
Offended, the daughter protested, "No we're not! I would never do that! I would pick the best stuff to fill my house, and it would be cozy and happy. I would serve yummy food!"
"Lovey, the Bible says that we are the temple of the Holy Spirit. That means you and I are like a house...a house where the Lord lives. When we choose ungratefulness or revenge or evil, it is like filling up our house with yuckiness. We have nothing to offer our guests except what would make them sick."
The light dawned on her daughter's countenance. She scrunched up her nose and complained, "This isn't a true story! It's a sermon!"
"It is true. Think about it."
By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches. Proverbs 24:3-4
Later that day, Naomi shouted from the stairs to me, "Mom! Thanks for the story!" And later that day, I prayed to the Lord, "Father, thanks for the story."