The editors at Territory have put together a series of programs designed for children to learn about the faith and to help parents teach their children. Here they share a new children’s picture book about the Heavenly Father for fathers to read with their children.
Up Most High—the Second Picture Book in the “Heavenly Father’s Darling” Series (Chinese-English version)
“Open the pictures of the heart, and hear the light in the stories.” Starting from July 29, Territory will publish Sundays the new program “Channel Hope,” which is designed with children from 4- to 12-years-old in mind. This will enable children to learn about the faith and draw close to God through reading original and classic stories, original picture books, arts and crafts, as well as interactive recordings and videos for both parents and children.
Territory is no longer only the territory of adults, but will also have a heavenly territory for children. Let us all become like a child! We welcome your attention and feedback about the new content in our comments section, and we welcome parents to interact with us by sharing faith-related videos or interactive stories, original drawings, or crafts done by parents and children. Please send these to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. Psalm 145:3
He knows the secrets of the heart. Psalm 44:21
Up Most High
Written by Ma Li
Pictures by Bei Wei
Ma Li: A Christian scholar and mother of two. Author of “To Aslan’s Country: A Guided Reading of the Chronicles of Narnia” (to be published in September by Joint Publishing, Shanghai)
Daddy, where does God live? Does He have a very big house?
Yes, His house is indeed very big. But even the heavens and heavens above the heavens are not big enough for Him. Yet in your heart, He still lives within.
Daddy, if God can live in my heart, then He must be very small, right?
Isn’t it wonderful? He can both be up in the heavens and in your heart!
Daddy, can He fly all the way? How does He get into my heart from heaven?
He does not need to fly. He is already there! He is at every place, from earth to the moon, from the North Pole to the South. There is not a single place on earth where He is not.
But Daddy, are you saying that He is inside my heart right now? Right here?
Yes. He is with us right now, right here. Not just that, even before you were born, He was there and is still now. In the future, He will always be with you.
But Daddy, I don’t understand. Does God know where I live now?
Of course. There is nothing that God does not know. He knows all that is seen, and also all that is unseen, like in people’s hearts.
Daddy, how could He know my secrets? Can He see my heart?
Yes. In fact, He made your heart. He knows what is inside a person’s heart. And He also tests the heart.
Daddy, is God scared of the dark just like me?
He is not scared of the dark, because it is He who made the great light. And He also lives in a light that is unapproachable by men.
But Daddy, sometimes when I am afraid of the dark, how could He still live inside of me?
He knows what is inside of you. And He can also chase away the dark from within.
Daddy, who made God?
That is a good question. A great difference between God and you and me is that, only God is not created—He was there from the very beginning.
Daddy, are you saying that there was a time when God existed but nothing else? If so, was He lonely?
No, He was not lonely, because God lives in a perfectly loving fellowship. He also fills the universe. So even when He was alone, He was never lonely.
Daddy, listen! Is that God who is making the thunder?
Yes, thunder is God’s voice speaking.
Thunder is terrifying. Is God terrifying?
You are right in thinking that God is terrifying. God is more terrifying than we could imagine.
But Daddy, if He is that terrifying, how could He live in my heart?
My child, thunder shows His awesome majesty, but the drizzle shows His loving kindness too.
Daddy, does God sleep at all? You know sometimes, when I am tired from playing, I take a nap.
He does not sleep, because He has a strength that never runs out.
Daddy, are His eyes always open then?
Yes. He is always watching and caring for the world, including you and me.
Daddy, why can’t we see God with our eyes?
Most of the time, we cannot see Him. But there once was a time when He became a little baby. Many people have seen Him. It was a long, long time ago.
Daddy, was he a very small baby, or a very big baby?
He was a very small baby, just like when you were a baby. But that baby was the exact face of God.
Daddy, how can I see God now?
You can go and look at the wind. It makes the leaves dance and carries the kite up high. But you don’t see the wind, do you? You can smell the sweet scent of osmanthus, which flies in an autumn day, but you also cannot see it, right?
Daddy, can God go to the moon immediately? Does He have a rocket ship?
He does not need a rocket ship and can still be on the moon, on the sun, Mars, and any other place. He holds the whole universe in His hands.
Wow! He is truly so big and awesome!
But Daddy, I still don’t understand. If He is so big, so humongous, why could he be so small and tiny at the same time?
He is over all the universe, but He could also be a very small voice inside your heart.
But Daddy, how does He live in my heart?
Well, we have come back to this question again. All I can say is, that is because He is willing, because your heart is His favorite place.
Picture Book Reading Guide
This is a picture book especially designed to be read by fathers and children together. Most Christian parents agree that a father’s role in the family is incredibly important and irreplaceable. But how can fathers be involved in the process of guiding their children to learn about the world and about themselves?
There is a certain complementary nature in the roles God gave to parents. If we say that parents are responsible for establishing love and authority as the basic order of the home, then the father’s gift leans more heavily toward establishing rational authority (at a certain age, children think that parents know everything), whereas the mother is more gifted at establishing loving authority.
This book portrays a child who does not stop asking his father questions. She (he) has strong curiosity and observation skills. Faced with the child’s bottomless questions, the father listens carefully, and explains and guides patiently. Anyone who has parented before notices that at some point, a child is characterized by ceaselessly asking “why.” This is the best time for parents to establish rational authority.
This picture book is also designed in an attempt to help fathers understand and develop the habit of listening to their children’s questions and answering with patience. The questions asked by children are often very reasonable once we think about them. We must show an affirmative attitude and explore these questions with children, instead of neglecting, belittling, or being annoyed by the child’s questions.
This book also attempts to help parents guide their children in building a biblical view of the universe and of God. One could say that this is a theological book for young children. God’s omnipresence, omnipotence, ultimate greatness, as well as God’s eternal state and His omniscience all coexist perfectly. By presenting these theological views through the questions and stories of the father and child, we avoid simply preaching, and we also prepare a foundation for children’s future theological thinking.
Like the other picture books in the “Father’s Darling” series, this book hopes to provide parents and children a certain perspective in viewing the world around us, such as the fact that every object beside us is related to God’s creation and bears God’s imprint. This is also a picture book that teaches modern people (including both parents and children) how to meditate.
Original Article : “天父宝贝”系列原创绘本二 ：《至高之处》| 中英文版 (Territory)
Edited and reposted with permission.
Updated on October 24, 2018, Editor's Note: Other children's books in this series are available online:
- Book 1: 《焉能忘记》 How Can He Forget
- Book 2: 《至高之处》 Up Most High
- Book 3: 《诸天宣扬》 All Heavens Declare
- Book 4: 《奇妙可畏》 Fearfully and Wonderfully Made
All images courtesy of Territory.
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