My daughter, Lea, is nearly 2 ½ years old now – a time that has flown by, yet I can’t quite fathom was life was like without her! One of the things we notice about her when compared to her older brother (which you try not to do, but it inevitably happens) is that she speaks very well for her age.
I think her ability to communicate verbally has actually made her a little easier to live with. Early in the summer, right after she turned 2, we had some very challenging moments with her behavior. I feared for the next 2 years – the next 16 years, actually! But as her vocabulary improved and she learned to verbalize her wants and needs, her frustration with us faded, and the chaos in our home seemed to diminish. Now, we can enjoy actually speaking with Lea – asking about her day, asking about her emotions. Such a fun developmental age!
I have a prayer cross on my dresser – a gift from 2 very special people. It is shaped just perfectly so you can hold it (sometimes maybe desperately clutch it) as you pray. I asked Lea one evening what it was – she responded correctly that it was a cross. (Actually, she first responded very quickly – ‘I don’t know’ – which is her normal response, usually followed in a few short seconds with the answer to whatever question we had posed. Let’s hope that is a phase.)
I next asked her if she knew what the cross meant. Without skipping a beat, she said “Jesus loves me.” It was an amazing God moment for me. Such simple words spoken with clarity, truth, determination and confidence.
Yet when we as adults are asked a question about faith, the response “Jesus loves me” is usually not enough of an answer.
The gospel of Jesus is not complicated. But we silly adults make it SO complicated – and we argue and fight over who has interpreted our God correctly. But we can’t fully understand God, we don’t have all the right answers, and we’ll be fighting about who is right regarding the current controversial topic until the end of our days.
What we need to do is let the logic of my 2-year-old reign. The cross – proof that Jesus loves me. What more do we need to understand? Yes – we should ask questions and discuss and dig deeper into our faith, but we can’t let it overcome the pinnacle of our faith and the reason we seek relationship with God. Said simply from the book of John – not quite as simply as my daughter but equally beautiful:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16