Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Bailey's Jesus

I may have read today’s story before, but it is such an awesome story, that you may want to read it again!! And get your tissue ready!!

Have a Blessed Day!!


"Bailey's Jesus!"

God recently allowed me to see Jesus through the eyes of
someone seeing Him for the first time. Having the advantage of
knowing how the story ends, we can easily forget the cost of our
redemption and the love of our Savior.

Every year we attend a local church pageant which tells the
story of Jesus from His birth through His resurrection. It is
a spectacular event, with live animals and hundreds of cast
members in realistic costumes. The magi enter the huge
auditorium on llamas from the rear, descending the steps in
pomp and majesty. Roman soldiers look huge and menacing
in their costumes and makeup.

Of all the years we have attended, one stands out indelibly in
my heart. It was the year we took our then three-year-old
granddaughter, Bailey, who loves Jesus. She was mesmerized
throughout the entire play, not just watching, but involved as if
she were a player. She watches as Joseph and Mary travel to
the Inn and is thrilled when she sees the baby Jesus in His
mother's arms.

Later when Jesus, on a young donkey, descends the steps
from the back of the auditorium, depicting His triumphal entry into
Jerusalem, Bailey was ecstatic. As he neared our aisle, Bailey
began jumping up and down, screaming, "Jesus, Jesus! There's
Jesus!" Not just saying the words but exclaiming them with every
fiber of her being. She alternated between screaming his name
and hugging us. "It's Jesus. Look!" I thought she might actually
pass out.

Tears filled my eyes as I looked at Jesus through the eyes of a
child in love with Him, seeing Him for the first time. How like the
blind beggar screaming out in reckless abandon, "Jesus, Jesus!",
afraid he might miss Him, not caring what others thought. This
was so much fun.

Then came the arrest scene. On stage, the soldiers shoved
and slapped Jesus as they moved Him from the Garden of
Gethsemane to Pilate. Bailey responded as if she were in the
crowd of women, with terror and anger. "Stop it!" she screamed.
"Bad soldiers, stop it!" As I watched her reaction, I wished we
had talked to her before the play. "Bailey it's OK. They are just
pretending," but she shouted "They are hurting Jesus! Stop it!"

She stood in her seat reacting to each and every move. People
around us at first smiled at her reaction, thinking "How cute!".
Then they quit smiling and began watching her watch Him. In a
most powerful scene, the soldiers lead Jesus carrying the cross
down the steps of the auditorium from the back. They were
yelling, whipping, and cursing at Jesus, who was bloodied and
beaten. Bailey was now hysterical. "Stop it! Soldiers! Stop it,"
she screamed. She must have been wondering why all these
people did nothing. She then began to cry instead of scream.
"Jesus, Oh, Jesus!" People all around us began to weep as we
all watch this devoted little disciple see her Jesus beaten and
killed as those first century disciples had.

Now going back and forth between her mother's lap and mine
for comfort, she was distraught. I kept saying, "Bailey, it's OK.
Jesus is going to be OK.
These are just people pretending to be soldiers. She looked at
me like I was crazy. In my lap, we talked through the cross and
burial. "Watch, Bailey, watch for Jesus!"

The tomb began to tremble and lightening flashed as the stone
rolled away. A super bowl touchdown cheer couldn't come close
to matching this little one's reaction to the resurrection. "Jesus!
He's OK. Mommy, it's Jesus!" " It's Jesus!"

I prayed that she wasn't going to be traumatized by this event,
but that she would remember it. I shall never forget it. I shall
never forget seeing Jesus' suffering, crucifixion, and resurrection
through the eyes of an innocent child.

Following the pageant the actors all assembled in the foyer to
be greeted by the audience. As we passed by some of the
soldiers Bailey screamed out, "Bad soldier, don't you hurt
Jesus." The actor who portrayed Jesus was some distance away
surrounded by well-wishers and friends. Bailey broke away from
us and ran toward Him, wrapping herself around His legs, holding
on for dear life. He hugged her and said, "Jesus loves you." He
patted her to go away. She wouldn't let go. She kept clinging to
Him, laughing and calling His name. She wasn't about to let go
of her Jesus.