Today my little girl at the tender age of five welcomed the warm embrace of a Savior around her little heart of flesh. And, my heavens rejoiced. Her little human heart ached for a bandaid to her soul, which bled in her little infantile way each time she did not get her way, or was corrected when misbehaving.
But, this morning her little heart clenched in response to the extension of a connection to the One she’s heard of, but not yet befriended to know for herself.
Today she listened to the knocking of the door to her soul as the Lover of her soul gently called out for her to open up.
She listened. And, felt her nakedness before him…wanting to run and hide like her greatest grandmother did after eating an apple.
She felt His presence…and wept.
I opened my arms to her and she climbed into my lap. It’s okay, little one, Mommy’s got you.
“Me: Why are you crying?
Her (crying): Because I’m sad.
Me: Talk to God. He’s listening.
Me: I’ll start. ”Dear God…”
And I listened as the innocence of a child poured her heart out to the heart of a Father who did not miss a word or feeling. She shared that she was sad and did not want to be sad and begged for Him to make her happy, because happy was so much better.
Me: Are you sad because you feel badly?
Me: Do you feel badly because you do things that are bad sometimes?
Her: (nods and cries)
Me: Talk to Him. Our Abba is listening.
And again this little soul cried out in sorrow for her sinful flesh that pulls her this way and that into paths she cannot control and does not understand. She cried, and He listened. And I witnessed.
Me: God forgives you, sweetie. He loves you so much and wants to be with you all the time. Do you know why He can forgive you?
Her: (blinks, unsure)
Me: Who came to earth?
Me: Who came to earth and died?
Me: Yes, that’s right. You know how you receive a correction and punishment when you do things that are wrong and bad? Well, when Yeshua died on the cross it was like He took you out of the punishment place and put Himself there instead. He got the punishment, instead of you.
Her: (eyes widening) Why would He do that?!
Me: Because He loves you, even when you did bad things. Even when you sinned. He loved you then and He loves you now, and because He loves you He was willing to take all the punishment that you deserve and receive it Himself.
Her: (crying) Thank you, Yeshua.
I never really got it until now. The amazing grace of a young soul hearing the call to begin a relationship with our Heavenly Father. In my mind because of my own fractured experience I thought that a saving faith at such a young age could not truly be possible. Isn’t it just words and hand-me-down beliefs from a parent?
Now, I can see clearly. Her older siblings have been excellent educators for what this parenting thing looks like as we not only introduce these young people to Yahweh and the work He did through His Son on the cross, but THEN do the continuing work to labor with them in the maturing process.
Meeting and welcoming in Yahweh and the grace offered through the work of Christ is only the first step. This is merely the sprout of a seedling plant through softened soil of the heart. Seedlings are fragile. They require the watchfulness of a caretaker in many, many ways from many hazards.
Shepherding the heart of a child that has welcomed in the Love of our Abba is a regular and daily occurrence, not a one-time event. The moment of welcoming is not the end; but the beginning. It is continued in regular protection as potential threats come along, especially while too young to have logic and “a sound mind.”
As the plant continues to grow and is strengthened in their understanding of the world, then it is time to allow some fortification through trials. Bit by bit a child is released into the world, all the while being strengthened in its roots to dig deeper to the Living Water that never stops flowing. And as the seeds of weeds from engaging with this world begin to attempt to grow roots in their soil, we, the parent caretakers, work to help uproot the seeds and replenish the soil.
It is painstaking work, without guarantee.
But, today, her soil welcomed her Savior and she begins a new chapter in her story of HisStory, and I no longer hugged a daughter of my flesh, but my sister in Spirit as well.