“I’m glad God made me with curls,” remarks Elena, smiling.
As she turns four this week, I’m struck with her recent comments about God.
“God loves me so much.”
How do you know, Elena?
“He made me just the way He wanted me.”
To a frightened sibling, she encourages, “You don’t need to be afraid. Jesus is with us.”
“Jesus died on the cross for our sins. He has wounds on his feet and hands.”
What more will she need to know than that when she’s 74? Elena’s abuelita (grandmother) lived with me at that age, dying of oral cancer. In my mom’s final and physically painful days, only a few things mattered. Am I alone? Who is with me? Jesus and my family? Am I ready to meet my Creator, to face eternity?
Although admittedly trying, caring for a dying loved is a singular gift. It teaches us what doesn’t really last—wealth, degrees, outward beauty. What we need now, later, and always is connection with Christ and others. Death begins to teach us to enjoy the present…like the sweet voice of Elena, clutching her doll: