Monday, April 13, 2009

Jesus' Dirty Shirt

We went with some people from our church to see "The Promise" at Trace Creek Baptist Church, which for you non-western Kentuckians is a large church in the middle of the country. We took Cate, thinking she'd be entertained by the songs, live donkey and live sheep. We were right. Plus she really loved the fish some of the disciples tossed from their boat onto the dock.

I should mention the program was 2 1/2 hours long. That's well beyond a toddler's typical attention span. We sat on the aisle, thinking we may have to get up and walking around with her; we never did.

What she kept talking about after it was over was Jesus. And how he had a "dirty shirt."

Yes, his shirt was dirty after he was beaten and taken to be crucified. I guess even for a 23-month-old girl that was a stark contrast to the bright, white clothing he wore before that. Even after he rose from the dead, complete with a clean shirt, Cate still talked about Jesus and his dirty shirt.

I tried to tell her (multiple times) that when Jesus came back he was wearing a clean shirt. She thinks about it for a minute, repeats "clean," then goes back to the "dirty shirt." Truthfully, it's pretty neat to hear her sweet voice say, "Jesus," regardless of what he's wearing.

But, you know, I'm thankful he wore a dirty shirt for me. And you. And Cate.

Bearing our sins did indeed dirty his shirt, but he did it so we could wear bright, white clothes. And he rose from the filth, this time wearing his clean clothes, so he could rejoin his Father and prepare a place for us. I'm certain he's preparing a beautiful place where everything, even our shirts, will be cleaner than anything we can imagine.

As sweet as it was to hear Cate talk about Jesus, I'm looking forward to the day she understands the rest of the story and realizes the his dirty shirt was so very temporary.


  1. the way you wrote this gave me chills - so well said. It actually sounded like something from a devotional book - wow! :)

    new topic - how is your sister doing?? AND did I see something about you all going to visit??

  2. Thanks for posting this - awesome stuff.

  3. great post. so sweet that she sat still for so long!

  4. A great ending to a great weekend!!!

  5. That's pretty amazing. I remember going to church as a child, sitting beneath the pew, and being bored out of my mind because I had no idea what was going or what this guy was talking about. Anytime you can involve children in the worship service it changes the whole dynamic for them! I was 12 when my little brother was born and I made it a point to make sure he didn't experience church the same way I did. When he was old enough that he began to talk I would sit him on my lap, or next to me, and intersperse playing with his action figures and hot wheels with reiterating key words that the preacher would say. When it was time to sing, he would get up with everyone else and belt out anything he could muster that resembled the words to the song. The best part was when he finally began to pray out loud. He would say a prayer that thanked God for every item in whatever room he was standing in. He would roll down the visual checklist: "Thank you God for Momma and Daddy, Bubba, Jen, Keri, Arin, the food, the table, the plates, the forks, the knives, the spoons, the light bulbs, the light switches," etc...