Tuesday, January 11, 2011

He Loves You More Than I Can

We wanted to start teaching William about God and Jesus as soon as he was born, because if we waited until he could understand...well, when exactly can a child understand eternity?

That notecard with Deuteronomy 6:4-9 has been taped to the inside of our cabinet since I was about four months pregnant. I wanted to remember as often as I pulled a drinking glass down (which was OFTEN) that I would be responsible for teaching another human being about Christ's love for us.

It may sound easy enough to teach about Christ's love, with all of the lamb metaphors and stories of healing. But His perfect love involves hard things, like hurting and death. Some people think it's macabre to talk about death to a child, but I disagree.

When I pray aloud over William each day, I thank God for the death of His son, as horrible as it was. Without His death, there would be no resurrection, and I would have to bear the wrath of God, an impossible thing.

Sometimes I wonder what William will ask when he is old enough to start considering things. Is God real? Why don't some of our friends believe in God? Why did he have to die on a cross?

In vain, I try to plan out some child-appropriate answers. But I don't have the words to make it sound beautiful, to whitewash the blood away. The blood is part of the story.

So we start simple. When I nurse William in the morning and before he sleeps at night, I pray. Sometimes I'm praying for sleep, and most times I'm praying that God will open hardened hearts and unseeing eyes, especially my own.  Before I feed William, I take his little hands and hold them, and I let him watch as I bow my head and close my eyes in reverence.

I just say a few words; a six month old can't watch for long.

Dear Lord, thank you for this food. Thank you for dying for me on the cross. Amen.

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