Little ones to him belong

Two days ago, Mercy surprised me with a new song: she sang Jesus Loves Me in its entirety! I have sung this song to her more times than I can count but she never once has sung along. But she is at this very fun stage right now where all the things she has been decoding for twenty-three months, she is suddenly capable of encoding. One day it was the ABC’s. Another day it was counting to ten in Spanish. Two days ago it was Jesus Loves Me.

I can’t really think of any other song that is so simple, so universal, so known. I also can’t think of any other truth I could be more excited for her to absorb and proclaim.

There are two other songs I try to sing whenever I sing Jesus Loves Me. The first is Jesus Loves the Little Children and the second is He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands. I want Mercy to grow up rooted in the love her Creator and Savior has for her. But I also want her to grow up knowing that that same love extends to the children of Guatemala and the Congo. I want her to know herself as the daughter of a heavenly Father whose children cover the globe, not as a single child who is her father’s solo agenda.

Doug and I watched The Constant Gardener on Saturday night. It is truly a spectacular movie that I am still recovering from seeing. Only I don’t want to recover which is what makes seeing it so very hard. Many years ago, my best friend Julie told me that once I had kids there would be things that I simply would not be able to watch. She said that there would be things that, to even hear of them, would break me. Julie, I know now what you were talking about.

It was the two little boys, mostly naked, walking slowly past the place where people lay dying. It was the little girl left running, alone on foot to flee the men on horses come to rape and kill. I have been to the townships of South Africa, and I have seen extreme poverty in many places, but this time it was different: the little boys were Aaron. The girl was Mercy. And it was more than I could bear.

Mercy needs to know that yes, Jesus loves her. And she does belong to him. But she needs to know, just as much, that Jesus loves the little children. All the children of the world.

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