A few weeks ago a friend was telling me a story. Her son is three and he is in the question phase. His favorite question, why? She’d say, “son, eat your broccoli please,” “why?” he’d ask. “Son, go wash your hands,” “why?” This pattern continued and still continues.
One day she said, “Son, I love you!” “Why?” he responded. She had a choice. How would she respond? Why did she love her son? She decided that she would describe all of the reasons why she loved him. He would give her a hug and she’d say, “You are such a good hugger, that is why I love you,” or she’d say, “You are the best big brother, that is why I love you.” For a few weeks she would continue to give him reason after reason why she loved him. The list long and continued to grow. Then one day, he says, “mom, I love you.” She had her moment. She looked at her son and asked, “Why do you love me?” He paused. Looked up with a big smile and responded. “That’s easy mama, I love you cause I want to!”
Amazing! The wisdom of a three year old. His words were so powerful. She was humbled by his wisdom and his gift to her as he spoke of simply loving his mom because he wants to.
A few days later, her son was singing Jesus Loves Me. He stopped and looked up at his mom and asked, “mom, why does Jesus love me?” My friend stopped and began to formulate her thoughts. She wanted to answer with wisdom and thoughtfulness. Before she could say a word he looked up and said, “I know why Jesus loves me mama. Jesus loves me cause he wants to!” He smiled and kept going about his day. His mom, left in the wake of such wisdom.
It is amazing to me how easy it is for us to make lists of the reasons why we are lovable. “I’m lovable because I am a good friend, I’m easy to hug, I’m nice, I can do this, I can think this, I can be this or that…” The list goes on and as we age, often our list grows and with it a fear that if this list were to change maybe our ability to be loved would also change.
My friend’s son spoke a word that we all need to hear. We are simply loved by Jesus, just cause He wants to and nothing else. There is nothing we can do to make him love us any more or any less than he does right now.
So today, when you’re tempted to think your value or lovability rises and falls on a long list of capabilities or reasons that we control, remember the words of my friend’s son, “Jesus loves me just cause He wants to.”