An interesting thing about this Christmas season has been my increased understanding to what it means to have a child like faith. My 2 year old daughter is the one to thank for that.
We have been talking all season long about how baby Jesus was born in a manger, that He was born to save the world. We had a paper doll nativity scene that she loved playing with. We hoped that somehow these lessons were getting across.
On Christmas Eve we were up at my parent's church to attend their Christmas Eve service. Izzy was playing around on stage as we got everything ready. She loved looking at the big, beautiful tree and all of the sparkling lights- but then she was drawn to the manger they had on stage. She immediately shouted, "Jesus is born!" She ran over to the manger to find, that it was empty. My poor distraught child! Where is Jesus? Where did he go? Is he playing hide and seek? Will someone go find Him? An endless line of questions and concerns followed. I finally said, "Well, baby Jesus grew up to save the world, and now He is in Heaven!". Izzy replies, "I want to go to Heaven too! I'm excited to see baby Jesus!". And then the question of why He wasn't lying in the manger insued again.
I couldn't help but be slightly annoyed with the constant asking of where baby Jesus had gone and why he wasn't in the manger. Some people had begun to arrive at this point, and she began telling them that baby Jesus was gone! One woman in particular felt for her, and even tried to convince her daughter to run home and get a baby doll! Well, come to find out later, my daughter became a little missionary that night.
This woman was so touched by Isabelle's little heart of faith. She told my dad how she learned from my 2 year old, that the absence of Christ invites turmoil. How the absence of Jesus in Christmas, is really not Christmas at all.
I was so proud of my daughter. I began listening more to her questions about Jesus and where He was. She continues to ask every so often, "where did Baby Jesus go? Will someone else find Him?" I continue to remind her that Jesus is in Heaven because He saved the world.
My daughter's longing for this person named Jesus and her excitment to go to this place called heaven touched me deeply. She doesn't fully know who Jesus is and what it meant for Him to save the world. She doesn't really know what Heaven is and how to get there- but she has a longing for it. Shouldn't we?