“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another.” – John 13
It was one of those really long days of parenting a three year old little girl and a one year old little boy. To this day I cannot even tell you what she did, but my three year old daughter and I were at odds. She did something that pushed me over the edge. All I remember is screaming at her and telling her she had to go to bed. We were in her bedroom and the light was so bright because it wasn’t anywhere near bedtime. It was one of those horrible moments where I closed her door and fell to the floor in tears. I just knew from the depths of my heart that she didn’t deserve to be yelled at and she didn’t deserve to be sent to bed in the light of day. My arms ached to go back in and grab her tight. To tell her how sorry I was and to give her the warmth of my embrace so she would know that I still loved her her. But sitting in a heap outside her door I didn’t know what else to do but leave her.
When my tears subsided and I could see clearly, that’s when I noticed how animated she was in her bed. She was moving her arms and talking. She was very clearly having a conversation with someone and yet I couldn’t make out the actual words that she said. She was speaking quietly – even amongst her movements. I’m not sure when she fell asleep or when I left her door, however big things would come the next morning.
We got up the next day like nothing had occurred the evening before. We ate breakfast and then made our way to the car to leave. As I buckled her brother in the car seat she walked right up to me and tugged on my shirt.
“Mommy do you know what?”
“What” I said.
“Jesus loves all the little children even when they’re bad.”
And with that she walked around to her side and climbed in the car. It was like clouds had parted in the sky and rays of light came down from heaven. I stood there in the garage for a moment before I replied.
“Yes baby, Jesus DOES love all the little children even when they’re bad.”
I understood that evening before, I did not follow Jesus command to love one another. That I was one of Jesus little children that was bad. And yet he still loved me.
After reading our last story in John 13, A New Command, I am reminded of that night way back when my oldest was so small and innocent. Even when he was facing an imminent death, he wanted to make sure all of his children knew just what he wanted for them.
“Children, I am with you for only a short time longer. You are going to look high and low for me. But just as I told the Jews, I’m telling you: ‘Where I go, you are not able to come.’
“Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples – when they see the love you have for each other.”
My three year old reminded me that we will all make mistakes and Jesus will be there as the shining example he is to still love us. To remind us that we should do the same. And I’m so grateful that 14 years ago on that bright sunny evening, that Jesus was there comforting my baby reminding her that he still loved her when I couldn’t do it.
Don’t ever forget that Jesus is always there to show you the way to love better. To make sure that you do better. And to remind you that he loves you just the same today as he did yesterday and will love you tomorrow.