Juliana is five. She’s the woman. If you don’t believe me, just ask her.
Allison, Juliana’s mother sent the following text about Juliana. I learned two important lessons. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.
“I picked up Juliana from MDO (Mother’s Day Out) yesterday. Little did she know, we’d be headed back shortly to the church to take the Wednesday evening meal.
When we got to the church to deliver the food, Juliana carefully instructed me on where to go. As we drove near Dennis Hall, I asked if Pastor Tom was still out. Juliana said, “Yes, he’s still out. But he’s getting better. It seems like everyone is having surgery….Pastor Tom, Pop, MeMaw, Rock (their neighbor). There’s like FOUR PEOPLE having surgery.” She seemed assured that everyone was okay, but it was clear that she missed you.
When we pulled up to the family life center, she hopped out and ran right in, wandering around the foyer and throughout the building. When we were finished and leaving, I noticed that she had both hands grasped together around what looked like a ball. This became apparent when she couldn’t open her own door, thus having to ask me to do it for her, then leading to the question of what was in her hands. I bet you can guess it—-a whole bunch of tootsie rolls!
She looked at me like, concerned that I would tell her to put them back. Instead, my first reaction was…. “Well, it looks like God loves you a whole bunch and you have a lot to share with others.”
Without hesitation and with conviction, she said, “I know God loves me, and he love you too,” and shared a tootsie roll.
Just thought I’d share with you that you are missed. Although she didn’t mention anything about missing your fantastic sermons, the tootsie roll program is paying off in spades! I’m glad that this little one, and others have made themselves at home in the house of God.”
I texted back: “Amen. Shannon and I would like to adopt her. You have another, so share.”
She texted: “LOL. I have two and would be willing to give you the 11-year-old on some days. But you and I will have to fight with Allison over her two.”
That was the moment I realized the text was not from Juliana’s mother, but instead, her Aunt Lauren. I would have known this immediately if I had looked at who sent the text to begin with, but I took it for granted since Juliana was the subject, I assumed her mother had written the text.
Lesson One: Read the fine print.
If you don’t believe me, ask any attorney. By not reading the fine print, I almost adopted Lauren’s 11-year-old.
Reading the fine print in the Bible also matters because, too often, I hear people quote scripture out of context and make it say what they want instead of what it really means.
All the fine print in scripture is summed up in one verse.
Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
What Juliana said to her Aunt Lauren is what it’s all about. “God loves you.”
Prayer: Dear Gracious Heavenly God, I live in a confusing world filled with competing messages clamoring for my attention. Please help me remember your Son has saved me. Today, I give myself to you without reservation, procrastination, or hesitation. Use me for your purpose. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Lesson One: Read the fine print.
Lesson Two: Think it through.
The reason Juliana didn’t mention missing my “fantastic sermons” was because she is always in Children’s Church with Breana, and never gets to hear them.
The good news is someday, Juliana will be too old for Children’s Church. She will be in the sanctuary during the sermon and be just as mesmerized as everyone else.
I pray your day is filled with joy and laughter.