Jesus Loves Me

by Maureen Miller

The picture hung on our wall.

It was a simple portrait depicting our Savior, and as a girl of seven, I imagined this was how Jesus looked around the time he began public ministry. When he called his disciples. Held children on his knees. Gave sight to the blind. Prepared for the cross.

He appeared kind, and the framed depiction, to borrow a familiar adage, “gave a face to a name.” In truth, from a very young age, I loved him, and the image in our hallway was who I pictured when I prayed or sang happy Sunday School songs, like Jesus Tender Shepherd and Jesus Loves the Little Children.

But more than merely an oil-painted portrait—a rendering by an artist whose name I didn’t know—was the truth my parents taught me about the painter’s subject. As I’d pad out of the bathroom in Winnie the Pooh slippers, there he’d be, smiling down from high above, and I knew the words of another familiar children’s song were undeniably true.

Jesus loved me.

And because he loved me—loved my sister and Momma and Daddy, too—we could trust him. Indeed, we could tell him anything, and it was this that made the painting of Jesus particularly special.

For as far back as I can recall, our mom told us, “Girls, the Bible tells us to cast our cares upon the Lord. So, when you have a burden on your heart, something you want to pray about, write it down. Then we’ll tuck the request behind the picture of Jesus and wait for his answer.”

And we did.

Over the years, our family’s prayer concerns were taped behind Jesus’s portrait, requests only taken down when a prayer was answered, and not always even then.

If one were to peer behind the picture, she’d discover a child’s scribble, likely in bold crayon—Help me read. Or—I want a puppy.

Momma’s too, in neat cursive—Please keep Maureen safe at church camp. Or—Heal Kathleen’s headaches.

And then there were Daddy’s, his handwriting almost illegible. I have a new patient battling breast cancer. Please help me care for her. Or—We’re putting together a team for next summer’s medical mission trip to Haiti. Guide us.

Even when requests were answered, the prayers would often remain. Momma would encourage us to add the date, noting exactly when the answer came, then return the paper to its place behind Jesus, like a stone of remembrance, at least for a season.

This literal giving of our cares and concerns to him turned what may have seemed ordinary into that which was extraordinary. Over years, we witnessed our Good Shepherd’s answers, time and time again. Sometimes they were yes. Other times, no. But he was always faithful.

As I matured from a girl of seven to a young woman of seventeen, my developing stature enabled me to gaze at the portrait of my Savior more closely. Though his was always that kind and caring face on the wall in our hallway, I saw more over the passing of time.

I saw compassion.

I understood grace.

I knew more of his forgiveness.

Most of all, I knew the old familiar lyric was true, and it made all the difference. It’s making a difference still—Yes, Jesus loves me.

…casting all your cares on him, because he cares about you. I Peter 5:7 CSB

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

About the author: Maureen Miller lives and loves on Selah Farm—a hobby homestead nestled in the beautiful mountains of western North Carolina. With Bill, her husband of 32 years, and their three “born-in-their-hearts” children and three grandchildren, they raise a variety of animals. Maureen loves books, movies, and music that make her cry. She asks daily to have eyes and ears wide open that she might experience the wonders of God’s Word and His created world and blogs regularly about His extraordinary character discovered in the ordinary of life at Taking Spirit-breathed ideas and framing them with words is her passion. Living Jesus is her highest aim.

Join the conversation: Do you have childhood memories of first learning about Jesus?


2 thoughts on “Jesus Loves Me

  1. Maureen, your parents were brilliant. I wish I had known of this when our daughter was growing up. It reminds me of the Kotel–the Wailing Wall–in Israel. I’ll never forget the first time I inserted my prayers into the thousands-years old wall. Thank you for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember placing my requests in that same wall in 2003 when I visited Jerusalem. Nothing better. Nothing more meaningful! Thank you for your kind words, Terri. I truly was blessed by wonderful parents who guided me in the love of our Good Shepherd.


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