It’s been a depressing news week, as summed up by my brother yesterday. But a conversation with my granddaughter cheered me up considerably, so I thought I’d share it with you all.
We were singing songs before nap time…she has a long list of favorites to choose from, “Amazing Grace” topping the list right now.
I also sang my variation on ‘Little Liza Jane’: “Who’s the girl that I love best? Little Lucy Jo!/ Better far than all the rest? Little Lucy Jo!” ….etc.
Lucy loves that one. “That is my song, Mama,” she says. But today, she spontaneously burst into “…the Bible tells me so.”
“That’s ‘Jesus Loves Me’,” I observed.
“Jesus Loves Me BEST,” Lucy corrected me.
Huh. I wonder when/if I ever said that to her, and in what context. “He loves you best, Lucy?”
“He loves you better than Mama?”
It wasn’t until later, down in the kitchen, that I realized what might have triggered that declaration–which sounded typically egocentric for a toddler… it illustrates the ambiguity of language as well as the amazing recall powers of a toddler’s brain. I’m pretty sure the conversation went something like this:
“Who loves Lucy?”
Answers: Mama, Papa, Daddy, Uncle Adam, Grampa, etc, etc…
“But do you know who loves you best of all? God does. Jesus does.”
Now I don’t think that conversation was very recent. But for some reason, it percolated to the top of her memory bank, and spilled out in a very confident assertion. I don’t know that she really understands it, but I pray she will some day.
Because it’s true.
Jesus loves Lucy better than I love Lucy.
Jesus loves ME better than Lucy loves me.
Jesus loves each of us better than anyone on earth loves us, better than we love ourselves, and much better than we deserve to be loved.
“God loved the world this way: He gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in him will not die but will have eternal life.” John 3:16, God’s Word Translation
“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:6-8, NIV
Who do you know–who have you EVER known?–who would give up his or her own life for another? For a stranger? For a wretched, sinful, thoroughly unlikable stranger?
That’s the love of God. Except that we’re not strangers to God, even when He feels like a stranger to us.
Good news to start a new week. Thank you, Lucy.
Thank you, Lord.