“What does love look like to you?”
I asked my five-year-old Abby Mae this question one day. She responded by quietly smiling and hopping off her chair.
“I need my art box, Mommy.” With titled head and thoughtful gaze, she poured over a simple sheet. I expected something with hearts and flowers, maybe butterflies and family, but her final masterpiece took my breath away.
“Jesus on the cross.”
My eyes filled with tears as had hers. I took in her glowing countenance, her tender gaze. Her love for Him was beautiful.
“Sweetheart, this picture is wonderful! Please tell me all about it.”
“There’s Jesus on the cross,” she said, her small finger tracing his form, “and all of those circles are his boo-boos.”
The week prior, I’d searched online for Easter movie clips and briefly previewed a scene of The Passion of the Christ, which portrayed Jesus’ agony immediately after Roman soldiers scourged Him. Abby had passed through the room at that moment and froze when her eyes landed on the screen.
“Why is Jesus bleeding? He’s not on the cross yet.”
I explained to her that the beating was part of His punishment, the one He bore but never deserved, for her, for me.
It bothered her. To her core.
“I don’t want Him to bleed, Mommy.” She wept and wept.
It had obviously affected her in a profound way, for as I sat with her, gazing at the picture, something about it further struck me.
“Abby, I’ve never seen Jesus smiling while He’s on the cross.”
“He’s smiling because He loves me.”
I had the privilege of leading our children’s Sunday school class in their Palm Sunday song, The Salvation Poem, on Sunday. We’d practiced for several weeks, and even though Abby had always sung with a smile, the difference was marked after we’d seen the movie clip.
After she’d noticed Jesus bleeding.
Her every word flowed past thoughtful lips, her misty eyes closing at times. Her little hands moved fervently as we made a cross with our arms and hung our heads to die. Radiant joy spread across her face as we sang the news of Jesus rising to save the lost and forgiving our sins.
At only five years of age, this sweet girl loves her Savior and feels deeply loved by Him.
May we all bask in the precious love of the Savior.