This love I have experienced throughout my lifetime is indescribable, yet here I am trying to use words to describe it. How many others have tried? Countless others, including gifted authors, thoughtful poets, talented musicians have tried, in multiple ways, to rightly or adequately express the all-encompassing, unfathomable magnitude of love. One word. Sometimes I feel as though I am the only one who has ever had the blessing of it -because of the wonder and consistency of it. That the numberless, nameless one who spoke the whole world and all that is in it into existence would make himself known to an innocent four-year-old, using the voice of a mother who told about a book in Heaven which would someday be opened and it would have names in it. If I were a good girl, my name would be there, on a white page, and that would mean that I could go to Heaven, but if I were a bad girl, my name would be on a black page and that would mean I couldn’t go to Heaven. I also had an elderly aunt who owned a copy of Dante’s Inferno and she didn’t hesitate to let me know where bad girls, whose names appeared on the black page, would go.
I was a little past four years of age when I was occasioned to be in a church service one Sunday, perhaps it was Easter, with my family. As we entered the service, a young lady offered to keep me entertained and quiet at the back of the church, which she did. So however involved as I was, my ears were tuned into the preacher’s strong and vivid, full and complete description of the crucifixion of Christ and all that led up to it. After his sermon, he offered Communion. As the young girl led me up to the front of the church, I strongly opposed the revolting offer to eat Christ’s flesh or drink his blood, and proceeded to make a decision only a four year old child might be inclined to make with four year old logic: I will never be a party to anything that would hurt him any more than he has already been hurt. Kicking and screaming, I refused communion. I don’t remember my parents ever attending services after that.
At four, what wisdom caused me to make a decision which has lasted a lifetime, certainly not always lived out as in totally faithful to the exact description of a vow, or, as others may say, to the letter of the law, but always in what I call the core of me, my inmost self, I have endeavored to be true. I have had a desirable and powerful ability to cling to that which was implanted within me at four, but do I know how to describe it? I can only conclude it must have been this indescribable thing called love. That four-year-old’s decision has made all the difference in my life.