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Banana Stickers and Big Questions

Banana Stickers and Big Questions

Charity bounced into the kitchen. Two braids swung behind her. Her black Italian school uniform covered mismatched pants and shirt. The hidden kaleidoscope of colors was her way of nose-thumbing against the system’s imposed social equality. It was hard to stand out in a standardized sea of black robed children.

But not our child. Oh no, Charity was the only one that sported a Chiquita banana sticker stuck on her forehead.

“I’m starting a new fad,” she told me. Her blue eyes sparkled. It was hard to appreciate her excitement with that white sticker smack dab in the center.

“Oh, I see,” I said, wondering why the only American in the entire school needed to brand herself as different.

“Everyone will want a Chiquita banana sticker like mine,” she pointed one finger at it then carefully felt around its edges to make sure it still stuck where she’d planted it.

It was there all right, like a neon sign.

I shook my head and let her run out, hoping she didn’t get laughed at.

She came home after school with her Chiquita banana sticker still firmly in place.

“Did anyone say anything about your sticker?” I asked.

“Sara might wear one tomorrow,” she said.

It clung on when she came through the door the following afternoon.

“Did Sara have a Chiquita banana sticker today?” I asked starting to wonder how long Charity could wear that white blotch.

“Nope,” unphased she grabbed a banana and peeled off the sticker, “But everyone wants one.”

Charity, wore that sticker the entire week, convinced her fashion statement would catch on.

Identity issues take center stage in our society, and they are much deeper than the picture of a yellow banana. There is a whole lot of whacky going on.

Our children, caught up in the social mess, look for brand, uniqueness, and specialness. They want to stand out, yet want desperately to blend in.

“By You I have been sustained from my birth;” the Psalmist wrote, You are He who took me from my mother’s womb; My praise is continually of You,” Ps. 71:6; NASB.

I remember the gloved hands that delivered my birth-stained daughter. I recall their strength and gentleness as they held Charity for me to see. Angry cries from a tiny red scrunched face filled the room. Startled arms spread in fear.

Then the doctor’s hands carried Charity into my waiting arms. We met, and she quieted.

I picture those hands in Psalm 71, as giant loving hands of Charity’s Creator. The same hands that formed her, received and lifted her from my body. Strong, trustworthy hands of love hold her even today.

The impact of that picture is profound.

Charity’s Chiquita banana sticker never caught on. I strongly suspect only the crazy American mother would allow her child out the door with it on. But the identity battle was far from over. The time old question of “who am I,” and “do I matter” raised its head long after the sticker was gone.

You are He who took me from my mother’s womb…”

Nurturing children in Scripture, brings value into their foundation. Balance teeters to the truth of God’s Word, for as we learn to know Him, He teaches us who we are. His love is so entirely breathtaking, it brings us to our knees. This is the purposeful identity for which our children long.

By: Sylvia Schroeder serves as Women’s Care Coordinator at Avant Ministries. Mom to four, grandma to 13, and wife to her one and only love, she enjoys writing about all of them. Find her blog at When the House is Quiet. Like her Facebook page or follow her on twitter.

Join us at www.just18summers.com for our parenting blog each Monday-Friday and for info about the Just 18 Summers novel.

6 Comments

  1. What a sweet post, darling daughter, and wise mother. Identity is indeed a huge and important issue.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed it. Not sure about the wise bit, but darling daughter, without a doubt. Those were the days! Thank you so much for your comment.

  2. As Sylvia’s husband and father of Charity, I was rushed back to the memories of this story. Although the story is long passed, the truths we saw unfolding on that day long ago seem to be truths that really grip our culture today. It’s so easy to get swept into wanting “our banana sticker” to be noticed in the overwhelming presence of social media. Thanks to my wife and my daughter for this lesson that still teaches today.

  3. Thank you for the reminder that God’s love should bring us to our knees in breathtaking wonder!

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  1. Banana Stickers and Big Questions - When the House is QuietWhen the House is Quiet - […] Read the Rest of this delightful true story of my daughter at Just18summers […]

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