She’s only two, but Emerald spends a large portion of her life at church. She goes to her little classes on Sundays and Wednesdays, where her teachers teach her crucial things, like how to sit criss-cross-applesauce on the rug, how to wait her turn, and the art of eating Goldfish crackers. She also hears about Jesus. She learns about God’s love. And, she learns about the beauty in loving church.
Yesterday the kids watched an animated movie about Jesus’ life. Finally, the movie came to the point of Jesus’ death. Wondering what she was thinking about all of it, I asked Emerald, “What’s happening right now?” Without ever taking her eyes off the screen, she launched into her explanation: “Well, they put Jesus on that criss-cross-applesauce. . .”
While she watched the movie, I watched her face, her precious two year old blue eyes focused intently on the animated depiction of the greatest event in history. And, even in this kids’ movie, Jesus’ death wasn’t pretty. It was bloody. The crown of thorns cut deep. The words He spoke weren’t light and cheery. There was no cute song or mischievous snowman for comic relief. And there she sat, baby girl, making connections in her ever-changing brain between the pictures she was seeing on the screen and the lessons she’d had in Sunday school. And, she didn’t seem distraught or upset in any way about Jesus on the criss-cross-applesauce.
This Christmas she will begin learning more than just that Jesus came to Earth as a baby. This Christmas she will start to see the why of His coming. She will begin to understand, in small ways, what sin destroyed and what God has done to fix the brokenness.
She’s only two. But, God is already working some truths into her heart. And, I have no doubt that Jesus smiled when He heard her refer to His cross as the criss-cross-applesauce. He is good. He loves her. She is in His hands, and He will work in her heart.