>In the Name of Love

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Direct your children onto the right path,and when they are older, they will not leave it. Proverbs 22:6 NLT.

She placed her hand on the small of my back and leaned her head against my side.

“Mommy,” she said softly, “Does that little baby with the sick heart live in Heaven now?”

When I explained that he was alive on earth but still very ill, she asked if we could pray for him. Before we prayed for Stellan, I suggested that we also pray for Miss Brenda’s son, Ryan.

I wrestle with how detailed I should be when answering her many questions about the gritty experiences that accompany life. I want her to stay innocent and not lift burdens heavy enough to strain her young emotions that she just now is beginning to understand. At the same time, I know the importance of teaching her to place those heaved burdens at the feet of Jesus.

And that’s what we did. We held hands and we prayed for two people whom we’ve never met. In a squeaky, yet reverent tone she asked Jesus to “make Baby Stellan and Big Boy Ryan healthy and strong.”

And then we prayed for those we have met and for our dog and her goldfish to remain healthy—because she’s five. Because it is never too early to learn that God cares about our every need and concern. Because I want her to feel safe in the truth that all burdens means every last one of them. I am not so good at remembering this, so I want her to have a head start.

After praying, the heavy look in her eyes confused me and I asked her if something was still bothering her.

“No, I’m fine,” she said. “I’m just wondering how we can show love to the sick little baby and the other guy.”

I stifled a giggle. She’s almost my carbon copy, but she inherited her ability to quickly forget names from her daddy. Before I could make a suggestion, probably because her last comment amused me, she exclaimed, “I know! We can show them love with a craft. Everyone loves crafts.”

So we crafted…in the name of love.

Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. Romans 13:8 NIV

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