Wrapped in his mother's arms, the boy's eyes darted from the action on stage to the actors quietly emerging from the back of the auditorium. He nodded at his mother's gentle reminder that this was only a play. The newest arrival on set caught and held the small boy's attention like no other.
With a small gasp, his arms tightened and then loosed from his mother's neck, his intense whisper tickling her ear, "Look it's Jesus: Oh, Mommy I need to tell him that I love him. Please let me go and come with me!"
His mother allowed him to slip from her protective embrace. His shoes gave off muffled slaps against the well worn carpet and he planted himself in front of the actor playing Jesus. The actor squatted down and held out his arms.
The little boy raced forward and declared, "I love you Jesus."
With a gracious smile the man responded, "I love you too!"
This account was recently told by my friend, the mother of the small boy. My eyes welled up with tears as I imagined the scene she described. Resurrection Sunday is a week behind us, and I am still affected deeply by her son's innocent, uninhibited actions. Jesus said that we are to come to him as little children: gladly, joyfully without thought of what others may think.
May we all take our cue from this small child and love with complete abandon.