In the middle of a Saturday morning, with cartoon noise in the background, two dogs snoring after a brisk walk around the neighborhood, brothers rushing out the garage door to ride bikes and meet up with friends, our littlest will bust out in song:
“Jesus loves me, he who died; heaven’s gates to open wide. He can wash away my skin, saying let his child come in.”
As he sings the word “skin,” he uses his hand to motion washing his belly up and down. As I giggle and begin to correct the “skin” to “sin,” he follows with, “In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth. Genesis one one.” He mightily pulls his arms open over his head and opens them wide, signifying the whole earth, the whole universe, the whole of creation.
This sweet boy started a new preschool this year, and I must say he is learning a great deal. He’s writing some of his letters, singing songs that teach the letters’ sounds, counting to “blast off” and beyond, and pointing out colors and shapes all around in his daily environment.
But the best part of his new school experience – and the most fascinating – is his retention of the many Bible story and Jesus songs and the weekly Bible verses.
He now has five Bible verses packed away in his mind and in his heart, and he recalls them often, using flash cards with a vibrant, colorful picture on one side and the accompanying verse on the opposite.
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Genesis 1:1
“All things were made by Him.” John 1:3
“As for God, his way is perfect.” Psalm 18:30
“I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” Psalm 139:14
“The Lord is my shepherd.” Psalm 23:1
I listen to him recite these with such joy in his voice. He is quite proud of himself, and he absolutely loves to carry around his Bible cards and admire the artwork.
It occurs to me that he is learning – verse by verse – God’s love story. God created, God is perfect, God loves me, God protects me. I find myself anticipating the next verse probably more so than him, so that we can string this perfect story together – in simple three-year-old language – and focus on this beautiful truth as a family.
Our lives are filled with noise, chaotic noise no less. Our three boys show great emotion on a daily basis, and they each can get lost in their own excitement and drama, and the noise level just rises and rises. And the youngest brother often is caught in all of it, the loudest of them all.
I have welcomed the refreshment of this repetition of truth, of our core beliefs, of the love of God in Jesus Christ, as a repetitive, resounding sound coming from the littlest mouth in our home. He is helping to keep the main thing the absolute main thing in our home.
“Who can make a flower? I can’t, can you? Who can make a flower, only God can that’s true. … God made me, God made me, I’m so glad that God made me. … Jesus loves me this I know.”
Every tune, every jingle, every verse. It’s certainly the most welcome and most needed noise.