Jesus Loves Me
by Ginny Mooney Withrow
Recently in need of relaxation, I made a warm cup of tea and sat down to enjoy it for maybe ten seconds. “Mommy, peese have some?” my toddler said in her developing and endearing diction. I offered the irresistible little imp a sip of my warm, savory, long-awaited cup of tea – only to have her decide it really wasn’t her “cup of tea” and spit it right back into mine.
I’m sure every mother could relate a similar tale of exasperation. But for as many times as our precious little ones exasperate us, there are those moments when children do something so beautiful, so magical, so perfectly “other” that it pierces right through the ordinary chaos of the day and strikes us right in the heart.
I had such a moment with my tea-spitting toddler. Though Azalea has been fascinated with my jewelry for quite some time, she had never worn any of her own. I decided she was now old enough to try on some of her jewelry. So I took out the two little necklaces she had been given for her second birthday.
One necklace is a delicate silver rope with a dangling heart-shaped locket. The other one is a beautiful gold cross. I opened the box with the locket first and showed it to her.
“Heart,” she said.
“Right,” I encouraged her.
Next I lifted out the necklace with the cross and held it up. She looked at the tiny gold image intently but didn’t seem quite sure what to make of it. Though she has lots of books about Jesus, most of them tell stories of his healings and miracles in child-friendly language. Few try to tackle the cross in toddler-talk. So I held the necklace up and said simply, “That’s Jesus’ cross.”
A few hours later as we were getting ready to go out, she asked to wear her necklaces – both at the same time, of course. So I picked up the chain with the locket and put it on her. Then I took out the gold cross. She pointed eagerly to the dangling icon and said with great conviction, “Look Mommy. It’s a Jesus lumme!” Which translated is, “It’s a Jesus loves me!”
How perfect. How beautiful. How true.
Somehow my daughter’s mind made the connection between the name “Jesus” and the words from one of her favorite songs, “Jesus loves me, this I know.” How ever she arrived at her word choice, what better description of the cross could there be? The sign of eternal love. The proof we all need that Jesus truly does love us.
Now, whenever we drive anywhere, my daughter inevitably spots a church with a cross on the top of the steeple. And I know each time exactly what she’s going to say. And each time my heart echoes the words along with her. “Look Mommy! It’s a Jesus lumme.”
Ginny Mooney Withrow lives in Falls Church, Virginia, with her husband, Jason, and two children, Azalea, 4, and Asher, 2. She enjoys writing for various ministries and also produces an occasional piece for television.