Love comes in many forms. So on this Valentine’s Day I decided to focus on those who may be difficult to love through the means of one of my favorite illustrated books for the child in all of us.
This beautifully illustrated poem brings the plight and redemption of cathedral gargoyles to light. Forgotten and reviled by those viewing the cathedrals, they are embraced and empowered by angels, who accompany them throughout the night as they fly through the city streets to bless the lonely and grieving. This illustrated book is so unlike Pilkey’s more famous work on the Captain Underpants series, but it lends itself to deep discussion around topics such as the nature of God’s love and our compassionate response to the lost, lonely, and grieving in our own communities.
Here’s a sample: “God bless the hearts and the souls who are grieving, for those who have left, and for those who are leaving. God bless each perishing body and mind, God bless all creatures remaining behind. God bless the dreamers whose dreams have awoken. God bless the lovers whose hearts have been broken. God bless each soul that is tortured and taunted, God bless all creatures alone and unwanted.” And the gargoyles beheld wherever they roamed that the souls of the lost weren’t really alone. Each one had an angel each one was protected, and each one was cherished and loved and respected…
Pilkey, Dav. God Bless the Gargoyles. San Diego: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1996
May you learn to love the gargoyles that surround you!
For further ideas around using children’s literature to communicate God’s love see Union Presbyterian Seminary’s Storypath site: http://storypath.upsem.edu
Kathy Dawson, Associate Professor of Christian Education- Columbia Theological Seminary