The Power of Love and 500 Red Capes
This weekend I was in Columbus with fellow blogger Tony Myles, (and my new best friend Dustin) at Kidmin, an awesome national conference for children’s ministry leaders. We had a booth for Lifetree Family and a plan for a little experiment about love. It involved buying 500 red capes with giant hearts on the back to give away to attendees through a 3 minute interactive experience at our booth.
The night before the event I started to worry the experience was disjointed, weird and a waste of time and money. Attendees would probably prefer chocolate instead of capes! I was dreading the cape idea.
But our little experiment turned into something simply epic.
We set up a photo booth in the convention center hallway and called it the “On the Fly” Superhero Devotion. We invited attendees to reclaim their inner superhero by writing something valuable about themselves on a paper heart and pinning it to a banner. Then we put a cape on them and took their photo with a backdrop that said “I Am Enough, because He is Enough.” As we tied their capes around their shoulders for the photos, we spoke the following blessing over them:
“You are a precious, beloved child of the one true King—your origins are epic!
God’s love is the most powerful force in the whole universe
—more than all superhero powers combined!
And His love is in you and flows through you as you live out the greatest mission ever known to mankind:
--to love God and love others.
And on the days that you don’t feel like you’re enough,
Remember that love never fails
and God’s love always covers you.”
We never imagined that people would be so profoundly affected when they heard these words as the cape was laid over their shoulders. They gasped, tears flowed, and they expressed deep gratitude for being reminded of this powerful truth about themselves—how precious and loved they were. Over and over they said “I needed to hear this.” One woman trembled and wept as she told us this was the first time someone had ever looked her in the eyes and told her she was worthy.
Keep in mind these people we caped work in children’s ministry at churches and teach kids about God every week. How had they forgotten this for themselves?
Their heads knew this truth, but their hearts were still hungry for it.
Knowledge obviously does not fill our souls.
God does. And God is love.
We ran out of our giveaway stash of capes in less than a day, but people kept coming anyway. They still wanted to do the experience—to claim their inner superhero with the “I AM” heart, have their photo taken with a cape and hear the blessing spoken over them.
They weren’t longing for the take-home gift, they were longing to be valued and loved.
By the end of the weekend we had “caped” about 700 people. At times the fire marshal had to move the lines of people out of the way. The conference resembled Comic Con—as hundreds of caped attendees wore them proudly all weekend. (You can see the photos here.)
This experience reminded me that we, as parents, need to tell this to our kids EVERY DAY.
- Tell them how precious they are, and remind them that they are loved not only by you, but also by God.
- Fill them with a sense of purpose about the importance of our mission to love others.
- Reassure them that they don’t have to earn love by being “good.”
- Explain what unconditional love means, and why Jesus walked on this earth. Because we were all imperfect. And he loved us enough to show us on the cross..
Passing on faith to our kids starts with love.
But this experience also revealed something much deeper…
Parents need to hear this just as much as our kids do!
Speaking love to our kids is not enough.
We have to speak these words to ourselves too, and we have to live like we believe it.
We need to be in community with others who will tell us we are valuable and beloved, and who remind us that God is real, even when we have doubts.
The world is certainly not going to whisper worthiness into our ears. And yet we still orient most of our lives waiting for it to.
Tomorrow we're posting an excerpt of something I read from a radical new book that’s been reshaping my heart and leading me on a journey to love more boldly. I’ve been waiting for the perfect moment to share it!
And I'm super excited because my blogger bff Leneita Fix will be joining us for another Lifetree Family red cape experiment at the D6 conference in Louisville tomorrow and Friday. If you happen to be coming to D6, stop by our booth early.
We’ve got love and a red cape waiting for you!
[…] of posting book excerpts. But I wanted to follow on the heels of the story on yesterday’s blog (The Power of Love and 500 Red Capes) and share the where the inspiration (and courage) to carry out this experiment […]Leave a Comment
How beautiful! And how fun!!
Hope you & Leneita have an amazing experience in L’ville…which I could hug your necks!
we miss you Liz! hugs to your neck from both of us! 🙂 Can you get away from the pumpkin ministry to come see us in Colorado next week?
I saw people getting capes and making super hero poses on Friday and thought, “I wonder what that is all about.” I almost didn’t stop on Saturday, but I decided to see what all the fuss was about. You were out of capes, but you weren’t out of hearts or blessings. I walked away from your booth after having my picture taken and cried. Me? Worthy? Loved? Unconditionally? WOW! Had I forgotten? Had I simply not taken the time to remind myself that I am a Child of the King? I don’t know, but hearing those words spoken over me truly touched my heart! I needed to hear that! I needed to be reminded. I am so thankful that you were there. I am so thankful that God told you that we needed capes and not chocolate! Thank you!
and now I’m crying! Kristy, thank you so much for these beautiful words. I love knowing that it made a difference–it’s what we all want to hear in ministry! My heartfelt prayer for all of you is that you never, never, never forget how deeply loved you are. thank you for having the kind of genuine heart that receives these words so sincerely. It was truly an honor to do this experience with people like you all!
So it has been almost a year and every time I think of this booth, I get all teary-eyed all over again! This truly impacted me.
Thank you for loving upon us. I truly appreciated hear those words spoken over me. 🙂
you made me cry when you spoke those words to me, as you tied my cape on….I will NEVER forget how humbling that was. It still makes me teary when I think about it. Thank you, thank you…for speaking to our hearts, and feeding our souls.
Sue McLain, LaPorte, IN
Thank you, Sue, thank YOU. It means a lot to know this, and to hear these words here from you!
I just found out about your website from watching a vlog on YouTube by schmovies. And all I can say is amazing! What an impact you had on all the ladies. Just from watching you speak the words to another women I was getting tears in my eyes. I wish I could of been there to experience that. I don’t know if you already have this plan or not to go to churches or more conferences with that same message, but I believe it will make a HUGE impact in the lives of women. I am a ladies bible study leader in my church and I know that women desperately need to hear these words. I would love to know if you guys plan to go further in this and how to be a part of it to make a difference in the lives of women. It’s so amazing what God can do, thank you for listening and being obedient to his call! May God bless you and your ministry!
Thanks so much for your kind words! It’s amazing what hearing hearing words of worth mean to all of us–we need to remember whose we are! And we are trying to figure out how we continue to expand this effort! Next week we will be posting all of the graphics and info for what we did I out booth so people can download it for free to use in any ministry setting! We will also be putting capes in our store soon too!
Thanks for your support, we need each other!
I’m so excited that you’ll be putting the graphics on here and selling capes! I would love to do this with the worship team at my church! I know what a HUGE impact it had on me. I still get teary just thinking about it! I posted my pic on my facebook and someone at church said, “So what was with the cape?” and I burst into tears!!! LOL Thank you!
The red cape idea- sooooo awesome. I can’t tell you how much it meant to me to hear those words and to know that they are TRUE! Thank you!!!!
PS- my kiddos think I should wear it for Halloween. SuperMOM! 🙂
Thanks for posting this. I was at KidMin but didn’t get caped myself. I found the blessing very moving. I hope you don’t mind but I borrowed and modified your red cape idea to use with our mid-week children’s ministry. After a short devotional about God using imperfect heroes, the kids’s group leaders prayed the poem prayer over them. A crafty leader made the background for us. And each child will be getting a copy of his or her photo with the prayer on the back side. Thanks again for being willing to be used by Jesus.