Picture Book Theology and Therapy

Such a range of topics can be covered in a recovery counseling session! I can move from Johari windows to the Apostle Paul’s progression of humility revealed in Scripture to reading The Velveteen Rabbit to John Wesley’s Holy Club questions! Oh, the places you’ll go when God is leading! The thing I love the most is that while I have certain standard activities and topics that I like to cover, sometimes the Lord gently speaks into the situation and says, “Hey, let’s do this today!” Some of the holiest moments happen when I scrap my plan and just go with the River’s flow!

A few years ago at a women’s clergy conference I met Hannah Shock who has an enterprise called “Picture Book Theology”.   She takes popular picture books that can be read in one setting and uses their themes to illuminate principles of the Christian faith.  I had been doing that with a small selection of books with which I was familiar, but her work opened my eyes to a whole new way of bringing biblical principles alive.

It can be a very effective means of touching deep emotional wells, especially in people whose life circumstances forced them to take on adult roles prematurely.  Letting the child within loose to explore feelings that arose years ago can quickly lead to adult resolution of hurts.  Healing comes in a number of ways.  Touching stuffed or impulsive emotions and guiding them into more mature responses is one of them.  It can be jarring, painful, and even incite other hidden emotions…..but with Jesus present to guide the outcome, the effort is definitely worth it!

Boundaries work, learning the attributes of God, study of The Relationship Principles of Jesus, and a little Picture Book Theology is a potent combination!