Recently, I completed my first Christian children’s book. “Finished: A Fictional Story With Heavenly Truth” is the story of four-year-old Jesus and his earthly parents, Joseph and Mary. In the story, Joseph must construct a pen to hold the family’s animals. As Joseph works, Jesus is also building something. At the end of the story, Joseph ponders Jesus’ words that his project is “finished”.
I find that one of the most impactful elements of “Finished” is the artwork done by Terri Melia Hamlin. Terri’s illustrations capture the essence of the story while illuminating more subtle themes found throughout the book. Although “Finished” is a fictional tale, it contains deep spiritual truth, foreshadowing the cross that Jesus must one day endure and the victory of the empty tomb of the Resurrection.
In this series of writings, we’ll explore together some of the illustrations found in “Finished” and the Biblical truths they convey. To begin, I’ll use the cover illustration found at the beginning of today’s post, the image of Jesus hugging and riding piggy-back on Joseph.
This picture, to me, is all about the love shared between father and son. Each of us were made for relationship, and Jesus exemplified a loving relationship with his earthly parents. We see this most intimately in the Gospel writings of John, specifically Chapter 19, where Jesus, from the cross, tends to the needs of Mary and arranges an informal adoption between Mary and John.
While little is mentioned in Scripture concerning Joseph’s interactions with Jesus, we can infer the unconditional love and incredible respect between Jesus and his earthly father. Imagine the hours Jesus undoubtedly spent by Joseph’s side learning the family trade of carpentry. Think about the many conversations and lessons learned in the shadows of Joseph’s work bench.
Yes, Jesus loved his parents, Joseph and Mary. He understood and fully embraced the instruction of his Heavenly Father to ” ‘…honor (both) father and mother’ ” (Genesis 20:12, NIV). Even more importantly, Jesus loves all people and desires a relationship with them. His unconditional and sacrificial love is evident in the remaining pages of “Finished”.
I want to thank again artist Terri Melia Hamlin for her amazing work with this book. Further, I want to thank you the reader for your support of this project. May you be blessed!