When I was a first grader and was learning to read, I discovered that I loved to read. It didn't matter if it was my reading assignment from Tip and Mitten, a Little Golden Book (still a favorite), or captions in a coloring book--I loved reading. My favorite story from that time in my life was Little Red Riding Hood. I don't remember if it was a story in a book or was a story in its own book. My next-door neighbor best friend and I would re-enact the story over and over. The parts of the story that made it special for me was the setting, determined for me by the pictures in the book. Red lived at the edge of a forest, surrounded by trees, birds and cute fuzzy bunnies. Who wouldn't want to live in such a peaceful, scenic place. I also thought it was very special that her basket was filled with yummy things to eat. Even though there were probably very similar things to eat in my house, these things in the basket seemed much more delicious than what I had. I liked the fact that she was brave to talk to a wolf and that she was very smart in seeing thru the wolf's disguise. I can't remember if, in my storybook, the wolf swallowed "dear old Granny" whole or stuffed her in a closet, but everything works out in the end--"dear old Granny" is saved, Red Riding Hood delivers her basket, and the wolf will bother them no more.
My favorite Bible story from this time in my life was the story of Miriam and her mom putting baby Moses in a basket for safe keeping, Miriam getting to take baby Moses to Pharaoh's daughter, and thereby Miriam, her mom, and baby Moses getting to live safely in their own home. I guess I must have really like baskets because that is my favorite part of this story. I would try to make a "basket" from leaves or sticks, and put in a small rock to see if it would float (any excuse to play in mud puddles, right?). I admired Miriam's bravery and quick-thinking skills when she approaches the Pharaoh's daughter with the perfect solution to what to do with the contents of the basket. Although it didn't apply to all the Israelites, Moses' family was protected from the Pharaoh. God, of course, had plans for Moses and his life, so his story continues.
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever! (Psalms 118:1)