Friday, November 5, 2010

Love With a Twist

I spent a couple days this week talking to preschoolers about the love of Jesus. And of course I read my books to them. It was a great experience and I it reminded me of a post I did a long time ago, but with a twist.

Thought I’d share it with you this week.

One of the things I talk about with the kids is how much Jesus loves them. In my book, Peek-a-boo Jesus!, there is a page towards the end that asks, “Where are Jesus’ arms?” The answer is of course, “Holding you tight.” That’s how I really feel. Our Christ holds us tight; he walks with us and waits patiently while we work through our failings.

In this particular preschool, there was a crucifix in the room. A crucifix is different than a cross in that the image of the crucified Jesus hangs on the cross. I asked the kids the same question as the book, “Where are Jesus’ arms?” They all agreed Jesus arms were stretched out.

We talked about how sometimes we reach our arms out wide and say, “I love you this much!” to our parents and they do the same. I then asked if it was possible Jesus doing the same thing. Perhaps the reason why Jesus’ arms were stretched out wide is that Jesus was showing us just how much he loves us. I asked the kids to close their eyes and imagine Jesus repeating just that, “I love you this much.”

What I saw next put tears in my eyes. One little boy went right over to a little girl who was sitting by herself (I had been told was very shy). He got on his knees and simply said to her, “Kiara, I love you this much!” and stretched his arms out as far as they would go. I almost cried. He got it. This little guy transferred the love in his heart to action and that shy little girl responded by hugging him back. It was a sweet moment I won’t soon forget.

It’s a simple concept—a savior taking on the sin of the world, our sin, and making it his own. It’s the ultimate love. A man, yet the Son of God, stretched his arms out, allowed the executioners to stretch them until they were dislocated. This Prince of Peace said, “I love you this much.”

How often do we stop and consider this? For me, I know it’s not enough.

We are reaching that time of year again when we celebrate the birth of one who would love us more completely than any ever could. I hope you will go back and read my posting from 2008, called “I Love You This Much,” and I hope it reminds you of the love that only God can give.


Robbie Iobst said...

Just beautiful. Like you! :0)

Loretta Oakes said...

Love you dear friend...thanks.

Michael said...

I'm not sure I ever fully understood practicing the presence of God like Brother Lawrence. However, as Loretta so eloquently reminds us, the beauty and love of the Lord is everywhere around us...always and forever. Having the eyes to see His presence as it unfolds all around us is a blessing we receive in salvation. To read the stories of children, their simple faith and great ability to love and to forgive, helps us as adults to realize that even though we are getting older, the childlike faith we all have is only a child's smile away.

Well done Loretta :)

Loretta Oakes said...

Thank you Michael for your kind words.