lettuce into boogers

imgresToday at church I had to turn lettuce into boogers.

The teach was from James 1:22-24. The passage where you look into a mirror, and if you walk away unchanged you are deceiving yourself.

The storyteller did a fantabulous job of using a square of green construction paper to act out having a piece of lettuce in her teeth, looking in the mirror, seeing the lettuce, and choosing to leave it there. The lesson was great, I totally got it and was even tearing up a little bit feeling convicted at the words she was saying.

BUT when I got back to my small group and placed a little compact mirror in the middle of our circle and asked, “so how does this mirror remind you of the story you just heard?”


Blank stares.

Shrugged shoulders.

“I didn’t understand what that story was about…”

My mind started whirring…how can I explain this in their language and at their level so that they will “get it”?

OK. So, you won this big award, and you’re on your way to the ceremony where you will have to go on stage AND  you’re going to get your picture taken. You want to make sure you look your best, so you go into the bathroom and look in the mirror.

There’s a big, giant, gooey, green booger hanging from your left nostril. You see it, and it’s gross. Do you want other people to see you with that booger?

NO. Of course NOT! So you get a tissue, and get rid of it before you head out to your ceremony and get your picture taken.

Now, if  YOU ever looked in the mirror, saw a giant disgusting booger hanging from your nose, would you CHOOSE to leave it there and go about your life?  (They all shouted “ewww! No way! Gross! Of course not!”)

Well, why not? (Their replies: “That’s embarrassing  You don’t want people to see you looking like that. Boogers are disgusting. No one wants to be seen with a booger hanging out of their nose. That’s just gross, Mrs. Jenna.”)

You’re exactly right. And now you’re starting to understand what this passage is talking about. If we want people to see us at our best, then we need to check ourselves in the mirror. The “mirror” is God’s Word. We have to be reading it to see what we’re supposed to look like, or how we’re supposed to be living.

If you read, “Do everything without complaining or arguing” (Phil 2:14) and groan, roll your eyes, and say, “but I don’t WANT to” when your mom asks you to do your homework…you are choosing to walk around with that big, ugly, gooey, green, nasty, slimy BOOGER hanging out of your nose.

My girls seemed to get it a little better than the lettuce analogy. And they were pretty grossed out at the thought of walking around with a crusty snot on their face. 

Not exactly sure it’s parable material or that I’ll be invited to take a pulpit any time soon, but I think I was able to get the message across today. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be making a booger analogy in church…

I know I was convicted by today’s passage and lesson–the lettuce illustration got my attention, but the booger one just really took it home for me. And if I really take a hard look in the mirror, I’m pretty sure I’ve got some boogers I need to get rid of. You?


12 thoughts on “lettuce into boogers”

  1. I’m thankful you found the avenue to relate God’s message to your girls. Never can I imagine anyone else using that (well, maybe your dad) but hey – if one gal gets the true meaning it was worthy of it. Grossed me out – but I often think of that passage….it impacted my life. I remember using a marker to color one of my teeth to get that lesson in an extended session in NJ years ago. (No it wasn’t in their curriculum either – but then we sometimes have to go beyond the print we’re handed. 🙂

    1. It’s a hard passage to get when you’re a kid, the analogies can be confusing…love the marker on your teeth idea! LOL! I used it for my girls in college as well, we all hung them on our mirrors as a reminder to be in God’s Word as much as we are in front of the mirror primping.

    1. The lettuce in the teeth was pretty funny, and the passage was such a good teach. For some reason lettuce in the teeth just wasn’t getting the point across–at least to my little group. I think the green lettuce inspired the green booger idea…still shudder as I think about what my girls probably told their parents they learned at church on Sunday. “My teacher told us that when we read the Bible it will show us giant boogers…” #sigh

  2. Boogers…gotta love ‘me for the teachable moment. Louis Sachar did this in Marvin Redpost, Why Pick On Me. Kids related to it, nothing spiritual but a good lesson nonetheless. What did the college girls hang on their mirrors?

    Thanks for teaching your small group and for your bon mots!

    1. The college girls hung James 1:23-24 on their mirrors–sorry–unclear writing (busted!) I haven’t read Marvin Redpost…I have heard of it. Maybe I’ll check it out of the local library and see what that’s all about 😉

    1. “But boogers, well we’ve all got those”…sad, but true my friend. LOL. Have to say, I still can’t believe I was talking about boogers at church, like in a serious way, and that I felt totally comfortable doing so. Gotta say, any church environment where that is OK is a pretty special place.

  3. Hello! I write from Barquisimeto, Venezuela. I am a small group leader, my Upstreet kids are 5 years. I love them, but it’s true that sometimes do not understand the message and we have to explain in their language! I wanna thank you for write this. You encouraged me to keep striving for my children to understand the message. Blessings.

    María Rebeca.
    Las Buenas Nuevas del Este Church.
    Barquisimeto, Venezuela.

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