My youngest is seven years old.
I can only say that for two more months — then he’ll be eight, and goodness, that sounds old. But now he’s still seven, so I take advantage of the moments while they’re here, and I lean down close when he’s all tucked in with his Cars 2 duvet cover up to his chin, and his giant, stuffed German Shepherd slung under one arm. And there in the dark, in the quiet end of another day, I bend my voice around his little ear and whisper, “Psst. I have a secret to tell you.”
His sturdy little body stiffens up with piqued interest as he leans onto one elbow, “What?”
With my hand cupped by his cheek, I whisper, “I love you.”
“Mo-oommm,” he groans, throwing his head back into the shadows. “That’s not a secret!!”
“It’s not?!” I exclaim in fake astonishment.
“Nooo! I already knew that!”
“How did you know?” I ask, hands on my hips.
“You’ve told me, like, a thousand times!!”
“Ohhh, okayyy. Well, good night, then,” and I kiss his cheek because I still can, and our smiles meet in the moonlight.
Some mornings when he’s slurping cereal into his sleepy mouth, I’ll lean in and whisper, “Psst. I have a secret.”
But by now he knows the drill, so he barely blinks before the smile comes, “I already know. Everybody knows.”
If he thinks everyone knows I love him, my job here is pretty much done.
You see, my secret isn’t really a secret after all.
I want my son to know it, and I want everybody to know it.
And I think about the love of Christ, and how not everyone knows how much He loves them.
Not everyone knows that “this is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us” (1 John 3:16).
Is it because some of us are living like it’s a secret?
Do we walk around with sealed lips, unwilling to share?
My son thinks everyone knows I love him, and I’m glad. But he doesn’t think that because I say it out loud to everyone I meet. He thinks everybody knows because of how I interact with him. Sometimes, with love, actions really do speak louder that words.
So the question is, do people look at you and me and know that Jesus loves them? Do they look at us and know that we love Jesus?
Every Monday evening, our family reads from a book called Window on the World: When We Pray God Works — a great resource for learning how to pray for countries and people groups in need of the gospel. We recently read a section on a people group called the Druzes, who live in Lebanon, Syria, Israel and Jordan.
The subheading for this section reads, “Followers of a Secret Religion.” Apparently they’ve kept their religion secret for over a thousand years. The only way to become a Druze is to be born one. The book says, “They keep what they believe to themselves and never share it with anyone.”
Do we sometimes do the same with Christianity? Do we keep it boxed up and wrapped in a bow, never allowing anyone else to see the gift we’ve been given?
Over and over in the book of Psalms, we read the importance of telling of His marvelous deeds, proclaiming the work of His hands.
I don’t really want my youngest to think my love for him is a secret. I want him to think everyone knows. And I want everyone to know that I love Jesus, and He loves them, too.
So come here for a minute …
I’m leaning in to cup my hand around your ear, because, “Psst. I have a secret to tell you. Jesus loves you. More than you will ever know.”
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Love your blog. Beautiful. What a powerful picture you placed in my mind. I couldn’t help but picture Jesus leaning in when we are struggling, and saying…Psst, I have something to tell you. And then reminding us of how much we are loved, Whose we are, and our purpose.
I love this! This is a goal of mine as well that my children, hubby and the world know of His true love! We also have that book “Window on the World” its a great resource! Thanks for this encouragement this morning!
Such a precious thing to have with your son (with our children)! And love how you brought it full circle ot the love we have from God!
Thank you for sharing your special time and reminding us of the love we DO have and should let everyone know of!!
Awesome post – well-written!
But more than that, such a great reminder of God’s love for those He has made. I too am passionate that the great news of God’s love be shared with those we meet in our daily lives each day – and not be kept to ourselves as though it was never intended to be shared!!
Love! We used to read the old Operation World book for kids – I don’t remember what it was called now, but it is out of print. It was such a fabulous introduction to people in the world, different beliefs and world geography. It’s a gift my sisters and I still treasure to this day. You’re doing your kids a huge favour by using it with them.
Thank you for this today Kate! I love the reminder that ou share of Jesus’ love for us. It is the most beautiful secret I know but one that we need to set free. Blessings today!
Thank you for sharing these precious moments with your youngest. I have a little girl who is 8, and I, too, cherish these kinds of ‘special moments’ of childhood. She is growing up so fast, and I know from having older children, that our relationship will change – there will be good changes too, but I will miss these days! What a wonderful reminder to share our love for Jesus with a world desperate for hope.
Love this post- what a great reminder to tell His secret!:) Got the Dragons & Dirt book- excited!
So glad you got the book, Katie! I’m over half way through and SO enjoying it! Good stuff! Looking forward to reading your thoughts on it! xx
Kate, I am leaning in and cupping my hand around your ear to tell you too that Jesus loves you more than you can ever know or imagine. Your actions remind me of a conversation I often have with parents when they come for Baptismal preparation classes. I always ask them “Whose child is this?” Often times they will respond with Jesus. And I will smile and say, “Yes, but whose child is this?” They usually catch on pretty quick and say well our child. I say YES! But how does he/she know that? I then proceed to share how from the moment they were born we told them who they were. Grandma came in and said its ok Grandmas here. Or you picked him/her up and said, “Its ok Moms here.” etc. Like we tell them who they are, God tells us who we are! LOVED!!!
This is truly beautiful and I am so happy that God steered me in your direction. Thanks for the blessing and the secret that should never be a secret.