Light filtered through the sunroof of the car, smattering beams of sun between falling leaf dances and country gusts of wind.
"Mama, God died on the cross for our sins. So He can be God...I think."
The kindergartner, wrapped in a coat with a blanket tucked around her legs, tilted her head thoughtfully from her booster seat.
"You're right, baby. And...because He loves us so much." The mama gripped the steering wheel tighter, trying to absorb the truth. Trying to soak it in. It was all that mattered. Love. His love. The only unfailing kind.
"I know. I've learned that a hundred thousand times!" The child's voice squeaked and pitched, part indignant, part proud, part frustrated. Even at 5, she grasped the pain of the mundane. The danger of reciting something until it grows monotonous, until what was meant to bring life seems to suck all the hope out of it completely.
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
We all know it. We all say it. We've seen it crossstiched on our grandma's throw pillows and framed on bronze plaques and monogrammed on T-shirts and aprons and kitchen towels.
It's so etched in glass and carved in stone it doesn't even dent our hearts anymore.
The mama swallows hard. "I know you have. But that's because we don't ever want to forget. Right?"
The kindergartner stares out her window, leaves tossing and swirling. A cacophony of burnt color and dried texture. "What would happen if we did ever forget?"
If we forgot love? If we forgot sacrifice? If we forgot hope?
If we forget the cross, we forget all those things.
"I don't want to live in a world that forgets, baby. Let's not forget. Okay?"
So they remember. And they drive. And the verse rings in their hearts. For God so loved the world...He gave...so we could remember. So we could embrace life. So we could have hope.
So we could hold onto love when everything else dances and twirls just out of reach. When everything else is as fragile and intangible as sunbeams through glass. When everything else is burned and dried. We remember.
We are loved.