There were days when I walked in from work and three-year-old Kyle might not look up or even ackowledge my homecoming. His eyes were riveted to the television. Sitting cross-legged on the floor, he talked alternating to me and to the screen’s characters. “Hi Daddy! Guess what? We’re having meat tonight!”
My son was watching Transformers. “. . .more than meets the eyes. . .” Kyle sang along, and almost unwillingly, I joined in. “Transformers, robots in disguise.” That got his attention.
“Daddy, this one’s about Bumble Bee, and guess what? He’s not really a car!” I sat down
beside my boy and listened to the story about the robots-slash-vehicles that transform when needed to save the day. “. . .and the bad guys need to watch out because Optimus Prime always wins!”
We watched the last bit together, and Kyle assured me that he’s for the good guys.
“You know why? They can transform, Daddy!”
It was 1985.
Kyle’s Grandma learned all about Transformers, too. She listened when her small grandson went on and on about the heroes disguised as cars and trucks and even eighteen wheelers. Tucked inside his Easter basket that year, Kyle found a red sports car that he could twist and turn and make into a. . .“Transformer! More that meets the eye!” Kyle burst into sweet song, and his aunts, uncles, mom, dad, and grandparents smiled as he left the rest of the basket unpacked and turned the robot back into a red car, pushing it along the carpet and making up scenarios pieced together from several recent episodes. Later, the Transformer accompanied him on the Easter egg hunt. The day transformed into a happy memory.
When I was a little boy, my mom and dad tucked Matchbox cars into my Easter basket along with Elmer’s candies and a big chocolate bunny. My imagination created lots of enjoyment with those cars, and in my closet today, those treasures reside in a now-antique Matchbox
Kyle’s fascination with the autos is almost an extension of my fascination with a
different version of toy cars. It was easy to spend time watching Transformers and then push the toys around with him, following his directives, entering his imaginary world of good guys and bad guys. My Matchbox cars never fought for justice like Kyle’s Transformers, but I could make the leap.
Skipping fast-forward a few decades, I sit eagerly watching my phone. “Kathy, it’s time.
Kyle said he would call to FaceTime at 5:00.”
Before she joins me, I hear the ring, push a button, and hear Kyle’s oldest child’s voice.
“Hey Papa! Guess what this is?” Instead of seeing Stuart’s face, I behold an oversized toy that looks a lot like. . . “It’s a Transformer!” Roger’s vehicle pops into view, “This is Bumble Bee, Papa!” Stuart adds, “Mine’s Optimus Prime!” They make their voices drop an octave and sing the song through the airwaves.
“What’s that?” I ask, and wait for them to tell me all aboutthe hero robots/vehicles. Kathy joins me, and our grandsons begin again, catching her up on the latest Transformer stories
of good guys who win every time.
Transformers are bigger than they appear, and they have a big impact on the society they protect. No wonder they capture the attention and admiration of Stuart and Roger – and, in earlier years, Kyle. And while these toys and television shows did not exist in my boyhood world of make-believe, I have encountered the real deal every now and then: Men and women of faith who allow the Lord Jesus to change them from the inside out, becoming transformers, working for good, spreading the word of freedom in Christ.
The Easter story comes alive by those called by God to live transformed lives for His
glory –calling others to be transformed, too. A few twists and turns by the hands of the mighty God reveals the treasure – a new creature.
I am thankful for a loving Savior who conquered sin and death to transform me upon
my acceptance of His forgiveness and grace. I am thankful for my grandsons’ belief in good over evil in this world and the foundation their parents are laying to their paths of salvation. I am thankful for the Easter season and the renewal of my heart to the transforming power of Jesus. Transformers. . .
I think I will add a couple of items to the Easter package ready to go through the mail to Stuart and Roger. Can you guess what?