BALTIMORE—I’m sitting across from two boys at a doughnut shop. If you knew these boys, you’d understand this is a big deal. They are little balls of fire—so full of energy that, when you get them together, it’s complete madness!
I must admit I was surprised at just how good they were. They kept engaging me in conversation and were sitting so still. I was marveling at their politeness when one asked, “Ms. Colleen, why do you love me?”
I was struck. Why he would even ask that? My love for him comes naturally. The love I have is because Jesus is in my life. Jesus moved my heart to know everyone deserves love. Because of Jesus loving them is easy, even when they’re running wild, not listening or sitting still. I knew I had to answer the boys soon. But, how do you explain love to someone who doesn’t understand the concept?
I looked at both precious boys in front of me, and said, “Why wouldn’t I love you?”
One said, “It’s just weird…”
I prod him a little more. “Weird?”
He tells me it’s weird I do nice things for him, like taking him to get doughnuts or hanging with him after school. I take a deep breath, then explain how some of my favorite times in a day are sitting on the porch while he and the other kids climb all over me or play in front of my house. He smiled and said, “Okay …” Later that night, though, I dropped him off at his house, and he gave me the biggest hug!
Less than 24 hours later, I was having the exact same conversation with another kid in the neighborhood. Again, I explained my love comes naturally because I love them just as God loves me.
But these conversations had me thinking about my walk with Christ.
How many times do we come before God and ask, “Why do you love me?”
I don’t know about you but I am guilty of questioning God’s love for me. God loves us unconditionally no matter where we are. He loves us in our darkest moments. He loves us when we run away. After this epiphany, I didn’t find it odd my little friend would question my love for him.
Their questions and conversations with me often make me take a long, hard look at how I am living my life. In this particular instance, his simple question made me ponder how I question God’s love for me. I am so thankful for moments like this when, as I teach my kids something, I learn too!
“See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called Children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him” (1 John 3:1, ESV).
Colleen Smith is a church planting team member of Captivate Church and serves as a missionary in her neighborhood.