The children are now in bed, already sleeping. We had a church service tonight. It is the beginning of Lent, Ash Wednsday. During every service, we confess our sins, and the pastor (my husband) announces that we are forgiven because of what Jesus did for us...dying on the cross. During Lent we focus on His sacrifice and what it means to us. During the Ash Wednesday service, we have a cross "imposed" on our forheads in ashes (last Palm Sunday's palms...burned). When the pastor imposes the cross on your forhead, he says "From dust you came, and to dust you shall return." I am a sinner. I am going to die. Hopefully not for a very long time, I want to see my children grow into responsible, caring, compassionate Christian man and women. However, the fact is...I'm going to die. I can handle that. It's a fact of life. But EVERY year, when the ashes are put on my children, I choke. I tear. I die inside. Yes, they are sinners...I KNOW that. They are going to die. But, PLEASE GOD, not while I'm around to see it. The very thought of my children dying terrifies me. They are sinners, they deserve no more than Hell...neither do I. But God, in His infinate love and grace, chose to come to earth as a human being, to live that perfect life that we are incapable of living. He chose to die that horrible death so that I don't have to die forever. His dying on that horrible cross gave me life...eternal life in heaven. But the best part is that He wasn't finished. On that first Easter Sunday He rose...He came back to life to give me hope! Hope that He really did conquor death and the devil so that I don't have to endure eternal hell. He did this for me. He did this for my husband. He did this for Abbigail. He did it for Andrew. He did it for Bethany. He did it for YOU! He did it for every person that ever was or will be. He loved each and every one of us enough that if everyone was perfect, except me, He would have chosen that cross in order to save ME!
During church, the kids were drawing on their little notepads. Abbie was drawing a heart with blood dripping out of it, which I was disturbed about at first. Then she added a cross around it. She wrote the words "NO! NO! NO!" and then "YES! YES! YES!" I thought this was so profound. The very thought of my dear Saviour suffering and dying at the hands of the soldiers. The pain of the beatings, the nails, the thorns...the very thought makes me want to scream "NO!" But if He hadn't endured it, what would happen to me? What would happen to my husband? My children? My friends? We would go to hell...forever. But because He chose this death, we have eternal life...YES! YES! YES! She understands. After church she was crying. She kept saying she was sorry. She felt that she was a horrible person and that she wished Jesus didn't have to die. I totally understand her feelings. I wish He didn't have to do it either, but He chose to do it because He loves her. He loves me. He loves you.
You can learn a lot from a 7 year old.