It was like a little Easter blessing.
How often does a little one initiate a conversation about Jesus through a totally off-topic discussion?
A few days before Easter, my daughter was telling me about someone who had gotten married. My three-year-old granddaughter, playing in the room at the time, evidently was listening to our conversation.
She turned to her mommy and pronounced, “I got married!”
We smiled at Little One and her mommy asked her, “Oh, you did? Well, who did you marry?”
Little One paused for only a second or two and promptly answered, “Jesus!”
“You married Jesus?” I asked.
“Uh-huh,” she replied, “cause I love him and he loves me.”
The sweetness of her statement just melted our hearts.
But there was more.
She then asked where he was and why he wasn’t here in the house.
We tried to explain in terms a three-year-old would understand that Jesus lives in heaven, but that his spirit is right here with us, all the time, always there to help and care for us.
“But I want to see him!” she exclaimed. “He needs to come to our house!”
We attempted to explain that when you love Jesus, he takes a place in your heart, even though you can’t see him. Hard theology to understand for such a little one maybe.
But then she seemed to grasp that. “Jesus is in my heart!” she joyfully proclaimed. “And he’s in Mommy’s heart and Nana’s heart!”
Then she ran to her Papa and tried to tell him that Jesus was in his heart too, although we had to clarify to Papa what she was saying because he had missed out on the entire conversation since he was in another room at the time.
The simple unhindered faith of a child. Isn’t that what the Lord asks us to have?
It seemed to satisfy her for a bit, but then a few moments later, she announced, “But I still want to see Jesus.”
Well, she does see him. She sees him in those who believe in him. She sees him in those of us who love her so very much, enough to tell her Jesus loves her more than we do. She sees him in our pastor when she hears him tell the children in our church about Jesus. She sees him working in our lives when we pray with her.
Later in the week, Daughter and I took Little One to a garden center that has fun Easter displays for children and those young in heart. We saw the displays of Easter bunnies, chicks, and other decorations. Little One was even brave enough to sit on the Easter Bunny’s lap and get her picture taken.
But more importantly, she saw the reason why we celebrate this holiday in the final display. The real reason for Easter. The sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross and the hope of resurrection he gave us that Easter Sunday morning when the tomb his body was laid in proved empty.
And Little One got to ‘see’ Jesus – granted it was only a pretend facsimile of him but it gave her a concrete idea. And it gave us more opportunity to tell our Little One about the love of a Savior.
Jesus loves me, this I know. For the Bible tells me so. Little Ones to him belong. They are weak, but he is strong.
Childlike faith. I’m reminded through the eyes of my little grandchild that my faith must consist of completely trusting, without a doubt, the One who loves me and her and you so much he went to the cross for us.
“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” ~ Jesus Christ in Matthew 19:14 (NIV)