How Jesus Says “I Love You!”
I think one of the main things that has drawn my heart to want to be closely knit with Jesus’ heart has been the personalized touches of His love that He’s given me. I relate to that poem that says,
I've found a Friend, O such a Friend!
He loved me ere I knew Him;
He drew me with the cords of love,
And thus He bound me to Him.1
He does special things in each of our lives—sometimes we notice, many times we don’t, and other times we notice but don’t peg the credit right. It must be sad for Him, but Jesus loves us too much to give up. On and on throughout our life He just keeps trying to say and to show us those three wonderful words: I love you!
Even as a child I was testing Him out, to see if He really was on the other end of prayers—and more specifically my little prayers. I could see the reason for a big God answering when my family needed a house, and we prayed and looked and at long last got the best we could imagine. Yes, I believed in a vague way that “The Lord answered our prayers,” but it didn’t touch me deep in my heart. It didn’t grab me personally.
Months later while playing in the big nice yard of that house, I found an empty water spray bottle. It was broken inside, and I so wished it would work. I wanted to spray water on the flowers, just for fun. So I prayed in my heart for Jesus to make it work for me, and then I tried it again. My heart skipped a beat. My mind was in wonder. Water came spraying out for the next few minutes (before the bottle returned to its nonworking state again). Oh boy! Jesus was not only real and could hear big prayers, but little ones too. He could hear and answer my little prayers for things that made no difference at all in the big scheme of things—just a difference to me, for a moment. I realized He knew what I was thinking, and furthermore cared if I was happy.
As a teen struggling with endless emotions and loneliness, I needed such love in as tangible a form as was possible from the One I had given my heart and life to. On a walk I saw by the side of the road the tiniest, cutest little pansy. It was adorable. I’d never seen this miniature version of a pansy before. I picked it, and held it carefully all the way home. The blossom was no bigger than my fingernail, and the stem only as long as my finger. I placed it in a paper cup on my bedside, trying to extend its expected short life as much as I could. A week passed and it still sat there in the water as good as new, cheery and bright. I was happy.
Then the most curious thing occurred—a “never before, never since” thing. From its tiny stem there were roots growing. Roots, which in a short time got longer and stronger. I planted it in a flower pot, and with joy saw it grow into a plant with many other blossoms. My Creator—the one who makes plants to grow as well—was there with me, continuing to create of my life what He wanted, molding me through the ups and downs, and bringing blossoms of joy my way.
Fast forward to adulthood, and still having no sign of “that special someone” seemed to make every step an uphill climb. My work then could be considered a light load. But for me at the time it was oh so hard. I was caring for one little girl while her parents both worked. I was often with her for 11–12 hours a day, and found it wearisome at times, because after playing the role of a stand-in parent, I didn’t have the “reward” of then having a husband’s arms to rest in when the day was over. There wasn’t much challenge at the time for me, but on I braved, doing the best I could, all the while, unbeknownst to me, being trained for what my future would hold.
One day the mother bought a box of second-hand crayons for her girl. With joy the little girl promptly dumped the whole pack all over the floor, while her mother and I looked on. Ah, one more mess to clean up, we both initially thought. Then I noticed something else mingled with the crayons. An earring! Just the style and shape I liked, and it matched the colour of clothes I happened to be wearing that day. Surely there wouldn’t be a pair in this second-hand box of crayons. But I was wrong. There were two earrings indeed. I smiled. I wouldn’t have found a pair more perfectly suited to my tastes if I’d gone out to shop for some. The girl’s mother was glad for me—as they were not her taste in jewellery, and she was glad to have this little way to tell me “thank you” for caring for her daughter that day. I wore them often, and my heart perked up every time I did.
Years later when at last I married, continuing on the roller coaster of life with the challenges and thrills of parenthood, a puzzling scientific phenomenon occurred—at least I’ve never heard of it being possible. To set the scene: It happened at a time when my husband was compelled to be gone for 6 months (he was refused entry into the country we had been staying in and working in as volunteers). I was caring for our one-year-old with all of his health issues, while pregnant with our second child, which ended in an unexpected C-section. I was then caring for the baby too. My husband couldn’t enter the country, and I couldn’t leave the country until we had the passport and paperwork for the new baby.
Ever heard of an egg that, after being boiled, painted by a child to resemble a bird’s egg, placed in a decorative nest, displayed on the shelf for several months—and then when it was opened one day, was found to have turned into golden-coloured glass? It was like an amber stone, or glass. It didn’t smell in the least. It didn’t go bad. It was hard and clear as glass, and amber in colour.—The “white” of the egg, that is. I still have it. Perhaps my heart was like that egg—cooked in the hot water of the difficult situation. Then God gave strength and faith, as good as gold or jewels. We came through and were the better for it.
Now, a mother of three children, and hoping and praying for them to know Jesus’ love for them in personal ways as well, validating His reality in their own hearts, I’m thrilled when such occurrences happen—such as the following account my children wrote about in a letter to their friends:
“One of our favourite things to do is to draw with our new colour markers. Because we like to draw amazing pictures—like treaded work vehicles!
“Here is a special little miracle Jesus did for us the other day. For a few days we had been looking for one of the lids to the light blue marker. We didn’t want it to get dried out, but it just seemed to disappear one day when we used it.
“We just got new bike helmets and read about bicycle safety and wanted to ride them. We drove to a place that had a big area for biking and we wore our new helmets and had a good time riding around.
“When we were at the bike park, Mommy looked in the grass in the bike playground area and was so surprised to see, guess what? A light blue marker lid—to the same kind of pens we have. It was exactly what we needed. It had some dirt on it, and had been there for a while, it seemed. We brought it home and happily placed it on our pen! Jesus is so amazing. He knows what we are thinking and what our wants are.”
As the days, months, years—and yes, decades—pass, I’ve learned to know and love Him personally through countless special touches and displays of His love, in ways that would seem totally insignificant when compared to all the change and miracles that are needed in the world—but that made a world of difference to me. He won me—forever--through His love. And faith alone tells me that I make a difference to Him. “We love him, because he first loved us.”2