Ms. D, Why Are You Crying?

Jul 5, 2009

In July, we attended a children’s conference at a local church with 10 children from the neighborhood. During the program, the children were told about missionaries whose lives were in danger because they would tell people about Jesus in places where it is illegal. Claudia looked up at me and said, “Ms. D, why do people get mad for talking about Jesus?” I explained to her that we should all have the ability to choose what we believe about God but there are governments that only want their people to believe what they teach them or not believe there is a God at all. Then she said, “Ms. D, Why would people live in a place that is dangerous to talk about Jesus? Are their kids going to get hurt?”

I explained that some people love Jesus so much that they want other people to have the same joy and happiness they have found in Jesus. They believe that He loves everyone in the world and they should have the opportunity to hear about Jesus too. They believe that so much that God has given them the courage to go to dangerous places and tell people that Jesus loves them and they believe that God will protect their family.

I asked Claudia if she would like to pray for those people. She nodded and we bowed our heads in prayer. The most beautiful, innocent, heartfelt prayer flowed from her lips. It was only about four sentences long, but her heartfelt and powerful prayer cut to my heart and moved me to tears. She opened her eyes, lifted her head, and saw that I was crying. Without even flinching she put her arms around me to comfort me and said, “Ms. D, why are you crying?”

The reality was that it was a flow of emotion from the innocence of her simple prayer to a reflection of our relationship over the past two years. When I first met Claudia, the first thing I noticed about her was a tender little heart that always noticed the needs and feelings of others. The first several times we prayed together, I always had to do the talking. Now, she was doing it on her own, and it was powerful. I replied, “Well, Claudia, it makes Ms. D sad to know that there are people who don’t get the opportunity to hear about Jesus because people in the government are afraid to let people make their own decisions about God. Jesus means so much to me that I would be sad if someone told me I couldn’t share about him with others. And I’m so proud of you for the beautiful prayer you prayed for those brave people.”

The program moved on and tears of sadness and joy continued to fall from my eyes. I delighted in knowing that it was just one more moment in our relationship that brought us closer. She would probably be at my house in a few weeks baking cookies and in a month I would be helping her with her homework again. The next time she fights with the other girls in the neighborhood or cries because someone hurt her feelings, I’ll ask her if she wants to do the praying, and I’ll gladly listen along and join her in the petition.

We are a community of people “learning together to love our neighbors as ourselves” in a Latino neighborhood in Alexandria, Virginia.

As a faith-based Christian non-profit with a small staff and over 100 volunteers, we serve alongside more than 100 families and their children (1st-12th grades) each week through our community programs.

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