The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


Inhaling the Spirit

We receive the Spirit as a gift — it is not found, obtained or possessed

Children's author Jeff Brown has inspired smiles for decades. He is the creative mind behind the 1960s children's book series that features Stanley Lambchop as the main character.

Stanley has a traumatic experience one night when the heavy bulletin board on the wall above his bed falls on top of him. He survives the crushing blow but is forever flattened. But this 4-foot-tall, 1-foot-wide and half-inch thick boy makes the best of his new circumstance.

Though ridiculed by some, he still enjoys an exciting childhood. Flat Stanley serves as the perfect kite for his brother one windy day. He slips through the bars of a sidewalk grate to fetch his mother's ring. When travel expenses to vacation in California prove too much for his family, Stanley's parents stick him in a large envelope and mail him to his friends.

One night, tired from his forever-flattened state, Stanley cries. In empathy, his younger brother Arthur hits on an idea. Arthur gets an old bicycle pump, rigs it up to Stanley's mouth, and begins to pump air into his brother. At first the cheeks fill up. Then his whole body reinflates. The household celebrates.

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March issue

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All are welcome