My Cardboard Companion


A new little buddy was added to the Joseph family this week, but it’s not what you think. We are not pregnant, though that is never out of the question for us. We are helping a friend with a school project and taking care of a little Flat Stanley for a bit. He is a cute little buddy and he fits so neatly in my journal and purse. It’s been fun to take him around San Diego, this little cardboard companion of mine.

But this little pocket-sized fella has also been challenging me this week. I was kicking myself the whole 3 hour drive to the mountains near Big Bear, California for leaving him in Phin’s diaper bag. He would have loved those views, the old-school Smokey the Bear signs in the National Forest, and the music on the road trip. I seriously felt as guilty as if I had inadvertently left my own child at home. But my guilt issues are a story for another day.

God has also used this yellow-faced little paper boy to cut me to the quick this week. As I was conveniently toting this Flat Stanley around with me this week, the Lord convicted me that often I want to make Him a flat God.

Flat God

I don’t fit in a box and
won’t stay in your cage,
I won’t be the act who
Performs on your stage.

I can’t be diminished
To a neat description,
I won’t be administered
Like a paper prescription.

I will not be folded to
Fit tidily in your pocket.
I won’t be a cute icon
To wear in your locket.

I won’t be an heirloom
Stored up in an attic;
I won’t be a formula,
My way is not so static.

If it were just that simple
I’d have sent you a plan;
But as you recall, instead,
I sent my only Son as man.

I understand it’s scary
To serve a God not tame,
But there is life, love and
purpose in no other name.

Take me out of your pocket,
Your diagrams, your cage.
I long to roam freely, to be
more than words on a page.

We are alike in our dislike of
being flat and conventional
I am full-orbed God, I will not
be made one-dimensional.

If you want to know me best,
You must know my Son well.
He’s a worthy lifelong pursuit,
He has wonders yet to tell.


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