Even though I grew up in church, my children’s love for Jesus has taken me by surprise. Maybe I didn’t expect them to understand until they were a little older. Maybe I just underestimated the power of Jesus’ love. But there is definitely something about Him that speaks to very young children. Never underestimate how much your babies and toddlers are picking up from you and your church community.
A few nights ago I was rocking T-Rex to sleep and humming to help calm his squirminess when he said, “Jesus song!!!” It took me a second to comprehend what he’d said. “Jesus song, is that what you said?” He looked up at me and said, “YES!!! Jesus song!!!” I figured he must mean “Jesus love me” since my Mom sang that to the kids every night she was here. So I started singing. “Again!” And I sang it again and again and again. After we had finished multiple rounds of the song, I taught him to say, “Praise Jesus!!” whlie lifting his hands. Finally I laid him down in his crib and couldn’t help but smile the rest of the night. A couple mornings later, I woke up to T-Rex singing in his crib words and a tune that sounded very close to “Jesus Loves Me.” The routine continues every night: “Jesus song! Again!” But tonight, he added a new twist. As soon as I started singing he raised his hands saying, “Praise Jesus!” I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. It was one of the most precious moments I’ve shared with him in his nineteen months.
One afternoon while Little Miss Sunshine and T-Rex were playing she said to him, “Sit on my stomach!” She laid on the ground and he came over to sit on her, but he sat a little higher up on her chest. She squealed, “NOOO! Don’t sit on my heart!! You’ll squish Jesus!!” (I really don’t know where she picked up the “Jesus in my heart lingo” – The Narrator and I do our best to stay away from church catch phrases. I’m sure it must have been at church!)
Just last night, T-Rex and LIttle Miss Sunshine were in their swimsuits cooling off in a little plastic pool on the lanai. I was sitting in a chair watching as they ran around burning off energy. At one point they stopped and stood still while Little Miss inspected T-Rex’s belly button. “Is he in there?? I think he is.” T-Rex looked at her and said, “Yeah!” Then she looked at T-Rex and pointing to his belly button said, “I think that’s how Jesus gets in and out!”
A few days ago Little Miss developed this intense fascination with needing to see Jesus. She kept asking where He was and why she couldn’t go see Him. I found myself stumbling around with words that she could understand without unnecessarily complicating things. So we have awhile to go yet 🙂 But in the mean time, they both have a precious developing love for Jesus that I pray will last their whole life time. I pray that loving Him never becomes complicated. And as I watch them, I begin to understand this “faith like a child” that Jesus referred to.