Thursday, July 12, 2012

such as these

Lila has a little Bible that my Grandma gave her.  It has sweet little illustrations and page-long versions of Bible stories.  

Each story has a question at the end like, "How many of each animal did Noah put in the ark?"  The first page is, of course, about the Creation Story.  God created the Heavens and the Earth.  God created all the birds and fish, all the trees and plants, the waters and the sky.  And God created Adam and Eve.  The question at the end is, "Who made Adam?"  This is really the only question Lila can get right so far.  The others are too complex - require reading comprehension skills that are too advanced for her.  But she knows that first one, "GOD!" she hollers with certainty.

That question has sparked other questions recently.  "Who made Mommy?  Who made Daddy?  Who made Franny?  Who made Lila?"

God, God, God and God. 

She will randomly ask me throughout the day, "Mommy, who made so-and-so?"  

"God made so-and-so."  


She's usually satisfied by that answer.  But the other day, we were sitting on our front porch and she asked me, "Mommy, who made Jaden?" (The little girl across the street.) And I answered, "God made Jaden."

She looked at me and I could tell she was thinking hard about something.  And then she asked me:

"Mommy?  Who made God?"

Two and a half.  She's two and a half.  I was not expecting to have to answer these sorts of theological questions this early!  I started to fret that this might be the beginning of a toddler's version of a crisis of faith.  These are the sort of questions that you just have to believe the answer to because something in your spirit says it's true.  I took a deep breath and began,

"No one made God!  He just is.  He's always been here and he'll never go away.  He makes everything, but no one makes him.  He's God!"

Long pause...

"Oh," she said.  And then, not two seconds later, "Can I swing?"

Phew.  Child-like faith, right there, Folks.

The other night I was putting Lila to bed and apparently forgot to say, "Amen" after our prayer.  My observant (and bossy) first born corrected me so I added, "A-men!" to our prayer.  Then this conversation happened:

Lila: What does "Amen" mean?
Me: It means, "Let it be so." It's what we say at the end of our prayers.
Lila: Oh.  What does Jesus mean?
Me: That's his name.  Jesus is the Son of God.  He is a man who came to earth to save us.  
Lila: Yeah, and Jesus loves his sheep.
Me: What?
Lila: Jesus loves his sheep.
Me: Jesus loves his sheep?
Lila: Yeah.
Me: How do you know that? Who told you that?
Lila: And his sheep are his sheep.
Me: His sheep are his sheep?
Lila: Yeah.  His sheep are his sheep are his sheep.
Me: Hmm.  That's right.

Really, truly, I don't know where she heard all that business about Jesus loving his sheep, but she's right.  It's possible she overheard it at church or in a book.  Or it's possible that Jesus told her.  After all, I do pray each night that Jesus would speak to her in her dreams and teach her about himself.  I'm not going to be hyper-spiritual and say that for sure Jesus told her that, but it does seem like where Jesus might start in his lessons to his little disciple.

"You Are Mine, the first thing I want you to know is that I love my sheep. Do you know what that means?  It means I love YOU, my Little Lamb!"

I love the thought of Jesus teaching Lila true things while she sleeps.  I love the thought of the Shepherd's words and love settling into a deep place in her heart.  I love the thought of Jesus using Lila to remind me of true things.  Like Jesus loves his sheep.

"Do you know what that means, Kelsey?  It means I love YOU, my Little Lamb."

Sometimes I just need to be reminded of that.  Even if it's the first lesson from the first class of Following Jesus 101.  Sometimes I get so caught up in the more complicated theology that I forget the basics.  It's like how in school I could solve the super complicated algebraic problems and yet still had to count on my fingers to add.  Okay, so I still do that, so what?

And although my little girl is far from perfect (FAR), there is something in her that all children have that we lose as we grow up.  It's that ability to take Jesus at his word and not let our circumstances, our experiences, our thoughts and opinions cloud the Truth.  It's the reason that Jesus said his Kingdom is for children "such as these."

Children don't need proof.  They just believe it because they trust the person who said it.  Lila believes me when I say that no one made God or that Santa lives in the North Pole or that there aren't any more cookies (although given those three examples, two out of the three aren't true so maybe she shouldn't!).  And she believe Jesus when he says he loves his sheep.  It's not about the believability of the thing.  It's about the believability and trustworthiness of the Person telling you the thing is true.

Which begs the question, "Is Jesus trustworthy?"

And my friends, if you can say yes to that question, it means you are his sheep.  And if you are his sheep, it means he loves YOU, Little Lamb.

"I tell you the truth, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it."


Stan, Dana, and Isaac said...

I love this. She's so cool. :)

danielle said...

Lessa's friend in Philly here. You need to check out Rain for Roots. Awesome music. Gospel saturated lyrics. Really not much sweeter than hearing my two-year-old sing "he is your shepherd, little lamb."

Kelsey said...

Danielle, I hadn't heard of Rain for Roots, but if Sandra McCracken and Sally Lloyd-Jones are involved I'm sold! It seems like it doesn't come out until August though? Do you have some trick to get it now?

danielle said...

(sorry i forgot to check back on my comment until now.) check this website, and you should be able to grab the digital download. the physical CDs aren't being released yet. but i believe the digital album was released back on may 15. otherwise, i lived in Nashville for three years. i must've made some inside connections? =) kidding. but let me know if that link doesn't work.

brit said...

I love this! I have specific prayers for my daughter as well but I may have to add the one about Jesus revealing himself to her while she sleeps to the list.