Goshen News, Goshen, IN


October 14, 2013

A 'Cheerful Little Cricket' knows the love, joy of Jesus


IT GOT ME THINKING, that little exchange, that this is how God looks at us. That he sees his kids, too, as “a joy, a delight, a treat and a blessing to other people.”

It stopped me in my tracks.

“Goodness,” I thought to myself. “What if we knew this truth and really believed it? How much difference it would make in our lives.”

This beautiful primer on the everlasting love of the Lord dropped, all jewel like, in my path in the daily tending of our smallest lamb. Mercy and grace right there, because we embraced that gift.

SPEAKING OF The Cricket, I was thrilled clear up to my roots the other night. I was finishing the last of the day’s reports when a voice came drifting out from the darkness of his bedroom. “Mama,” it said, “can you come see me when you’re done with your work on the computer?”

Well, what mother on any of the seven continents can resist a plea like that? Not this one. So finishing my work, I slipped into his bed, laying my head next to his on the pillow.

“What’s your favorite doughnut?” This is what he says into the dark.

“The glazed ones at our favorite bakery,” I say, smiling. “And what’s yours?”

As it turns out, he’s got more than one, for he begins to list what I know to be the inventory of the display case. After several minutes of such discussion, I kiss his head and slip back out, leaving his drowsy form safely tucked in.

IT WARMS my heart in a way I cannot describe to recall the love of the Shepherd for these, his sheep. “Let the children come to Me,” he’d told his harried disciples sternly, “and do not stop them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

And loving Jesus, friend of all children, laid his hands on them and blessed them.

It was several weeks ago that the annual See You at the Pole observance was held nationally, including a certain elementary school just up the road. He’d come home, The Cricket had, chirping his desire to go. Then, the night before, he told me why.

“Mama,” he said, all serious and straight, “the reason I want to pray tomorrow is because I love Jesus with all my heart.”

“I tell you the truth,” the Source of all truth once said, “unless you are converted and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”

THE ANSWER for living in a complicated world isn’t complicated at all, and Little, the Cheerful Cricket, leads the way. Loving God and loving others, that comes first and second. Then ourselves? We come third.

Wait. That sounds like a Sunday school song we used to sing. “J-O-Y. Jesus first, yourself last and others in between,” we sang in church. That spells joy for everyone, small crickets included.


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Last weekend (July 12) the Goshen Parks Department held its Kid’s Try-athlon to promote childhood fitness and this week (July 18) the new bicycle trail is open to the fairgrounds in Goshen, offering residents a healthy way to get to the annual agriculture exposition. Have you joined the local fitness movement?

Yes, I work at eating healthy and exercising
No, I am happy with my fitness level
Changing my diet and exercise frequency is a work in progress
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