This time of year is especially precious to me as I think back over my childhood and how the Savior drew me so tenderly to Himself at a very young age during this season so many years ago. I had a book titled “The Deep, Dark Day When Jesus Died” that I read over and over again. It is a long, sad story told in rhyme form with somber-hued illustrations to match the feel of the events of the crucifixion. A particular picture stands out vividly in my mind even today. There are soldiers at Jesus’s feet in the picture with scornful faces that mocked Him. In stark contrast to the attitude of the soldiers, however, is a pink, heart-shaped sticker that was placed over Jesus’s chest.
At initial glance it looks like the graffiti of a young child who views all books as coloring books, which random stickers attached and scribbles on the illustrations, all but ruining a good book. This was different, though. I couldn’t have been more than four years old when I placed it there. It struck me last night as Iwas thinking of that picture that the little girl who had put that heart there had done so very deliberately. She had done it out of love for the Savior. That small act had come from a very young, very genuine regenerate heart. What a miracle that such a young child could know enough to counteract those solders’ scornful faces with such a small act of love. This young girl Christ had died for 2,000 years ago. Still as powerful and mighty today as He had ever been. He saved her and pulled her to Himself with His love. It was the most natural thing in the world that she would love Him back. I am in awe of this King who saves. I am flabbergasted again and again as He takes my cold, hard heart, so full of distraction and other loves, completely helpless to generate any love for anyone but self, prone to wander. Only able to ask, “Please change my heart. Please help me to care. Please help me to love you again.” He gently takes it and holds it in His hands until it slowly grows warm again. He brings me back to this scene with the cross. He reminds me of who He was and why He did it. He slowly shows me my utter bankruptcy and spiritual paralysis. He quiets me with His love. And I remember. Oh, I remember. How could I have so easily forgotten? This strong and gentle Savior deals with me in infinite patience and kindness. He is mighty and powerful, and yet His mercy is the sweetest gift. He poured out His life as a drink offering for me, and so I offer my life as Mary’s pure gnard over His head. By His grace, I want to give all the things that are most precious to me, and hear Him say, “She has done a beautiful thing unto me.”