~by Julie Pettit

I recently found a picture that shows Jesus holding a little boy that looks just like my sweet three year old son.  I bought it and showed it to him as soon as I got home.

“’Oh! It’s Jesus holding Joshua! And Jesus said ‘I love you, Josh!'”

He decided he’d like the picture right next to his bed, so we went upstairs, got on pj’s, brushed teeth, and taped this picture to the wall right near his pillow.

He climbed in bed, turned at looked at the picture, and asked me “Do you remember that day, mom?”

Josh is my kid who loves our family photo albums most of all. He’ll flip pages very slowly, and tell you the story behind every single picture.

I asked him what day he wanted me to remember.

“Right there.  That day in the picture.  Remember when we went there?  Jesus gave me a hug and he whispered in my ear “I love you Joshua”.  Do you remember that day? I don’t really remember that day, mom.”

I could not convince Joshua that the picture next to his bed was a painting of a man that looked like Jesus holding a boy that looked like Joshua.  No – this was Jesus, and this was Josh.  Oh, his sweet innocence, my little lovely boy.

I leaned down and talked to him, looking in his gorgeous chocolate eyes.

Remember, Joshua, we haven’t gotten to hug Jesus since we were born.  I bet there was a time He did hug you and tell you He loved you.  You are right – Jesus loves you – and every one of us. And if He were here, I’m sure He’d pick you up, give you a big hug, and whisper “I love you Joshua” right in your ear.  Jesus loves you.  But since Jesus isn’t here, He gave us families to teach us and love us and protect us.  I am so happy Jesus let me be your mom.  I get to hug you. I get to love you, and I get to whisper in your ear “I love you Joshua”.

After I was done whispering in his ear, he shut his eyes, and I left the room, thinking that about this one thing I really want Joshua to know and carry with him in his heart forever:  Jesus knows him.  Jesus died for him, Joshua.  Jesus loves him.

For God so loved the world, he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you.  John 15:9

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