Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Shhh. (02/18/10)
TITLE: A Child's Faith
By Lisa Johnson
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“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you have learned it, and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.”
2 Timothy 3:14-15 (NIV)
It started when my grandson Tyler was just a baby. Sweet, precious moments were spent rocking him to sleep, and singing all of the same hymns that I used to sing to his mommy and his uncle.
“Shhh, Tyler, time to sleep.” He would snuggle close as I sang.
“What a Friend We Have in Jesus”
“Sweet Hour of Prayer”
“Rock of Ages”
“Jesus Loves the Little Children”
When Tyler was just over two years old, and his little brother Hunter was three months old, my husband and I were given temporary, emergency custody of the boys. It was during this time that I was thrilled to notice a growing spiritual awareness in Tyler.
My nights were spent rocking two babies to sleep. With a precious child on each arm, I would sing hymns for hours. How I relished those moments.
“Shhh, Gammaw, stop hinging…” Tyler raised his head off of my shoulder and gazed at me with solemn brown eyes.
“Tyler, don’t you want Gammaw to sing ‘Jesus Loves the Little Children?’”
“Hing Jesus love Ty and Huntee.”
So as I sing to my grandsons that Jesus loves them, I am in absolute awe of the fact that Tyler is personalizing the message.
Fast forward a few months. My husband and I are taking the boys on a road trip to Mississippi. My parents have not met Hunter yet, so we are driving eight hours so the boys can spend time with their great-grandparents. Eight hours in a car-seat will make any baby cranky, and Hunter is no exception.
“Shhh,” I stop my husband in mid-sentence.
We listen in amazement as we realize that our two and a half year old is singing his little brother to sleep. Tears fill our eyes as we recognize the words being sung by his sweet little voice…
“Jesus, Jesus, Jesus... dere’s just sumptin about dat name…”
Hunter drifts peacefully to sleep as his big brother sings to him about the wonderful name of Jesus.
Tyler and Hunter enjoy the time spent with my parents. They helped raise Tyler for almost a year before he came to stay with us. My parents, both in their seventies, have taken care of my disabled brother, David, for over fifty years. Christian music plays constantly in their home. Music is a gift that God has blessed David with. He is seldom happy without it.
On the trip home, the radio is tuned to a local Christian radio station. I worship while I drive, singing the familiar songs.
“Shhh… Gammaw… I want to say sumptin.”
“Whatcha wanna say, Ty?” I ask, amused at his interruption.
“I like you music, Gammaw…”
“It’s Christian music… music about Jesus,” I explain.
Without missing a beat, Tyler astounds me with his next statement.
“It Unca Dabid’s music."
I am amazed at his insight… how did he know that?
“Yes, Tyler, you’re right… it is Unca Dabid’s music. Jesus loves Uncle David very much, and He loves you and Hunter, too.”
~ ~ ~ ~
Tyler is three years old now. Hunter is fourteen months old. Our custody of the boys has transitioned into a guardianship. They stay with us two nights a week now. We still sing hymns, but a new bedtime tradition is being born.
“Shhh… it’s time to talk to Jesus before we go to sleep."
“Jesus is in Hebben, right Gammaw?”
“Yes, Tyler, Jesus is in Heaven… you can’t see Him, but He sees you. And you can talk to Him just like you talk to me and Papa.”
There is no place for the rote prayer that I learned as a child. No “Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep.” There is only real conversation between a three year old and Jesus… a Jesus this particular three year old knows as a real person Who loves him very much.
I wait in eager anticipation for Hunter’s spiritual awareness to bloom. I have no doubt at all, that one night, in the not too far off future, my heart will be blessed as I hear these words…
“Shhh, Gammaw… we’re talking to Jesus.”
Song: "There's Something About That Name" by Bill and Gloria Gaither
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