"Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so ..."
When my niece, Mia, was born, my grandma changed the words just a tad to say, "Jesus loves Mia this I know..." and well it has always stuck with me. Every time we get the chance we take Mia to church with us and we try to take her to Awana's on Wednesday nights. Awana's is a children's program, for lack of a better word, used to equip children with studying the Bible. The other night Mia was staying the night with us and she ended up sleeping in my room. I think I have figured out why she does this-I let her stay up as late as she wants-but then again I don't mean to digress. We have always read stories to her so it is only natural that she loves reading. But, here lately, she absolutely loves to make up stories-this girl has a great imagination! Sometimes we share "little girl" stories. My dad started this tradition with me and we have used it with her. The thing is she not only likes to hear them, but also tell them herself. However, last night, she had her Bible and wanted to tell me a story. She kept saying it was a pretend story, therefore I absolutely had no idea what I was about to hear.
She started by telling me about Jesus. And, how He is alive. She said He was nailed to a cross in both of His hands and feet and thorns were placed on His head. He was put in a tomb, but the guards were scared of the angel, she said and He is now alive. I am standing back pretty amazed at this point, thinking how did she know any of this! I think the pretend part came when she started flipping through her Bible, looking at the pictures, and relating what she figured them to be. She said God wanted us to share, to help others, to pray, to be nice, to do what your mom and dad says, to take care of the Earth and build community (I later figure this one is from Disney or something cause oh my goodness wow), etc. I think the beauty in this though, is that God really does call us to do these things. Although she was explaining what she thought it to be from a picture, we really are called to do each of those. Later, she asked me my first tough God question-If Jesus is in Heaven, and we can't see Him, how do we really know He is real?
Honestly, don't we all ask that question some time in our lives? We can talk the talk all we want, but when are we actually going to start living like God is alive and He is coming back again? Now, she is 5 years old, so I figure these questions will start coming, and we did talk about believing in Jesus and that He loves her. She knows that, but it is kind of an exciting time, ya know?
A couple of weeks ago, I sit in on her Sunday School class to fill in for the teachers. There was only 3 girls, and as we sit around the table discussing the lesson for the day, eating our pretend play dough goodies, I asked them how we could help others. They were great at coming up with answers, then my precious Mia said, "We are lucky." I don't think she knew the extent to what that meant, but it blew me away. I literally had tears in my eyes. Yes, we are so blessed and lucky. Despite the grief, troubles, and tribulations, we are so blessed beyond our imagination.
I'm excited for a couple opportunities this upcoming year. 1) To work with the bed babies in the nursery during sunday school. 2) To help with AWANA's on Wednesday nights. Both of these have to do with children, and I think it is important to start mentoring as soon as you can. Yes, babies are a little difficult, but you can be the smiling, comforting face to the parents when they come in too. I asked myself a question earlier on about how did Mia know this stuff? Well, it is because children soak up a lot of information. They are a sponge. And, they love to tell what they have learned. To have faith like a child is a wondrous thing...maybe we should all revisit our childhood sometime.