Zeal and excitement are a part of every child. This book celebrates a young child's enthusiasm to put into practice the words of Christ: to feed and clothe the poor; help the needy; and love one's neighbor.
As Thomas shows his family the items that he has packed into his suitcase after hearing a stirring homily at church, they marvel at his inventiveness and loving heart. Thomas is traveling to the Kingdom of Heaven, and he knows what it takes to get there! Along with his suitcase, Thomas and his family figure out a way to accomplish the almost impossible goal that Thomas is so excited about.
The Suitcase captures bits and pieces of Christ's parables in a story format, familiarizing the reader with Christ's Heavenly Kingdom in a natural, subtle way.
Story behind the story
This story was inspired by several things that all came together in my life. One was meditating over the parables with teeny three-year-old people (you should try it!).
Secondly, interacting with some of the homeless folk who live on the streets or behind buildings or in gulleys, here in Santa Barbara.
Thirdly, I was inspired myself by a sermon at our church one Lent, when Father John Finley encouraged us to pack a suitcase filled with virtue and other good things, and head straight for the Gates of Heaven.
Lastly, I suppose, or firstly, or in between. It doesn't matter. I am constantly inspired and learning from my youngest son, who is maybe just a little bit, awesomely unusual. He keeps me on my toes, and learning day after day to seek Christ above all...