And this little boy, in his small voice says to me, "Mama, I didn't want to do it - I was afraid. But I looked at all those faces and I knew."
"Knew what?" this mama asks, confused.
"That they just need to know that Jesus loves them."
And so he sang. He stood by himself in the middle of fifteen, maybe twenty, older men and women to sing "Jesus Loves Me" to them. He put his fear aside because they needed to know. These men and women who have been sent to the nursing home by families who could not care for their needs or because they don't have family at all. They sit in the activity room, playing bingo, doing giant crosswords. Even with other wrinkled faces next to them, they wear their loneliness as a coat around their aching hearts.
Watching my little guy sing for them brought tears to this mama's eyes. Aged voices joined him and before the chorus, every one of those lovely, aged lips were mouthing the words along with him. And my little guy? He was so happy to be able to bless!
"Mama, did we bless?"
"Oh, son, yes!"
Not a week later, he sings again, for a woman sitting in her room. Her eyes shine and her mouth forms the words to mouth along with him. This woman who does not know one day from the next, whose memory has slipped and she no longer knows the past from the present...well, she knows this one truth: "Jesus loves me" and she sings it with him. The speech therapist comes, watches in amazement...that the woman recalled the words, that she sang and smiled...that this one name, Jesus, in Him is found joy.
And God blesses her and He blesses us by giving us this one free gift, JESUS...that one name that is above all others, that one Child that was born to grow into the Man who would carry the cross - not just any cross but my cross, your cross...the one we deserve for each failing, mistake, every sin. But Jesus, He came as a babe to grow into the man who would bear this cross...bear it for us, that we may be clothed in His forgiveness and righteousness. And we who are so blessed to know and understand such grace and mercy...we are so blessed that the blessing pours out for us and then from us. We are so thankful that He uses us as instruments of His peace and love.
Thanking Him today for His grace...His mercy...His love...for the Babe born that first Christmas long ago. For the Hope He brings.