Chloe has always been very curious about Jesus and the events of His life. From His birth in a stable surrounded by animals to the miracles He performed, all the way to His death; she has always been willing to stop whatever she was doing to come and hear the stories of Jesus. Recently, she's taken a great interest in Jesus' death and the events surrounding it. At first I was a little disturbed by her obsession, and the frequency in which she'd explore the topic.
"Why did Jesus have to die on the cross?"
"Why did He bleed in the garden?"
"Why did they put nails in His hands and feet?"
"Are we going to have to die on the cross too?"
These are only a handful of examples. A few weeks ago in Sharing Time, the teacher held up the picture you see above, and asked the children to tell her what was happening. Without hesitation (and without raising her hand), Chloe announced, "That's Jesus praying in Gethsemane. And tomorrow they're going to put him on the cross!" She knew, based on a simple picture, not only what was taking place right then, but the events that proceeded. Another time she saw that picture, she further pointed out that Jesus was bleeding out of his skin (from every pore). Then the Sunday following, she whispered something to her Primary teacher, which her teacher later told me. I wish I remembered it word for word, but it was something along the lines of, "Jesus died on the cross so we wouldn't have to." -pause- "It was because He loved us." Chloe has not only absorbed more details about Jesus' death than I know I've told her, but she recognizes that the story holds significance; that it isn't just a typical bedtime story; that there is meaning behind it. What that meaning is, she has yet to figure out, but it's there. The seed has been planted, and she'll figure it out soon.
Chloe's concern for Jesus, and the things He endured overwhelms me. To see my four year old, who has the attention span of, well, a four year old!, eagerly listen to stories about Jesus, ask questions - deep, significant questions, truly begin to grasp His teachings and the lessons that accompany them, and feel genuine emotion over these things is like witnessing a miracle.
As Easter draws near, I find myself reflecting on my Savior, the unfathomable sacrifices He made for us, and the fresh start His atonement provides in our lives. I am also reminded of a book that my sweet mama gave me years ago, entitled, "You are Priceless: The Parable of the Bicycle". Simply said, the story represents our lives, our shortcomings, and the reality that no matter what we do on this earth, we will never achieve perfection. But through our efforts ("the whole sixty-one cents") and the atonement, which Christ has provided to help us, we can still achieve our ultimate goal of returning to our Heavenly Father's presence. That is truly what Easter and this life in general are all about!
I am inspired by my daughter's eagerness to learn about and know her Savior. I am inspired by her genuine love for Him and her Heavenly Father, and Their love for her! It is these moments when I am reminded of how in tune Chloe is with the Spirit, and what a great teacher she is to me. It really is no wonder Jesus shed tears when He gathered the children around Him. What an amazing presence they possess! Chloe's will is fierce, and sometimes impossible to reason with, but that will is developing a testimony that is bound to be unbreakable. And as her mother, I can't think of a greater thing.