Friday, September 16, 2011

Paper Heart

   Every evening after dinner and before bed a father and his five year old daughter would take a walk down their street together holding hands and talking.  The daughter would tell her daddy what happened that day in her preschool class and the daddy would laugh and listen as they walked down the street.  One evening after dinner they went for their walk.  The daughter was talking about preschool when she stopped suddenly and turned toward her daddy. 

“Daddy, who is Jesus,” she asked. 
Taken back by the question, the father bent down on one knee so he could look her in the eyes.
“Jesus, sweetie, is the son of God, he was here on earth so that we can all be forgiven of our sins.  He died for us and our sins” he said. 
“Does he love us” the daughter asked. 
The father smiled, “Oh yes dear, very much, no matter what we do, Jesus loves us.” 
He hugged her very tight and just as he let go, the wind blew and a small piece of crumbled up paper landed in between them on the ground.  The daughter bent down and picked it up.  She opened it up and the crumbled up piece of paper was a beautiful red heart that someone had cut out of construction paper.
“See, Jesus loves you” the father said with a grin.
The daughter laughed and smiled and took the heart, folded it up and put it in her pocket.   For the next couple of days, the daughter showed everyone the heart.  She told her friends at preschool, her teachers, her mom, her brother, her pastor, her Sunday school class, and she even called her grandparents and told them about the heart.  She told everyone that Jesus loves them and this heart proves it.  Her father told them all about what happened the day she found the heart.
The daughter went everywhere with the heart, she took it to school, when she went out to play, underneath her pillow when she went to sleep, and in her pocket when she went to church.  Not a day went by that she didn’t have that heart with her.
As she grew older, she would keep it in her book bag at school, used it as a bookmark when she read her books, in her gym bag while at gymnastics, and in her bible when she went to church.  When she was old enough to drive, she placed it above her, under the sun visor.  She would always have it in her book bag on test day and she would look at it before every high school soccer game she played in.
When she went to college, got married and started a family, the heart was always with her.  She kept it in her purse in a plastic baggie so she could always remember Jesus’ love for her. 
One day while at the playground with her six year old daughter, she was asked a question.
“Mommy, who is Jesus” her daughter asked. 
Memories flooded back to the day when she was walking down the street with her day.
“Jesus, sweetie, is the son of God, he was here on earth so that we can all be forgiven of our sins.  He died for us and our sins” she said. 
“Does he love me” the daughter asked.
“Oh yes dear so very much” she said, and she reached into her purse and pulled out the tattered paper heart that had been beaten and warn by time. 
“This paper heart shows Jesus love for us.  No matter what happens in our lives, Jesus loves us and he is there for us,” she said. 
“I want you to have this heart.  Keep it safe, and every time you look at it remember that Jesus loves you.”
“Oh thank you Mommy, I will” said the daughter as she carefully took the heart and held it tight against her chest. 
“Let’s go home so I can tell Daddy,” she exclaimed.
Down the street they walked, hand in hand, mother, daughter, and the love of Jesus.

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