When I was Young: Remembering what Jesus was like to me as a child

photo by erica_marshall
It was as a child that I first heard people talking about “asking Jesus to come into your heart.” I remember being young—probably five or six—and hearing the pastor invite us to pray this prayer, inviting Jesus into our hearts. I prayed that prayer and I remember going home and believing it.

Like I said, I was really young. So I took this prayer literally: In my mind’s eye, Jesus had shrunken down to a two-inch miniature and climbed into my heart’s chamber and was tacking a little “Home Sweet Home” sign up. I imagined my heart was something out of how they showed the insight of the genie bottle in “I Dream of Jeannie,” with red-velvet walls and a big plush couch that Jesus reclined on.

Being the eldest child, I was used to entertaining myself. So at night, I would tell Jesus stories, since, you know, we were having a slumber party and everything.

I’m not sure when I outgrew this idea and many times I wish I hadn’t. I wish I still pictured Jesus there with me all the time, rather than pushing him aside too much of the time or altogether forgetting he’s there alongside me. I wish I still believed so simply, so wholeheartedly, so lovingly.

I imagine that’s much of why he commended the faith of children, saying in Luke 18:15-17, “Let the little children come to me. Don't stop them, because the kingdom of God belongs to people who are like these children. I tell you the truth, you must accept the kingdom of God as if you were a child, or you will never enter it.”

…the kingdom of God belongs to people who are like these children.

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  1. Oh this is soooo lovely! It is very interesting, I grew up going to Church, but beyond saying grace on Sundays and there being an old & beautiful Bible in my home & a tiny new testament by my mum's bed, God, Jesus etc was never really mentioned. I went to a Christian school and yet outside of chapel or RE again there was no mention of Jesus, thinking about your actions and how they related to His teachings etc. I thought I was a Christian as a teen until I realized what one was, then it took a couple years but I was born again in my 20's.

    The only bit I remember thinking about Jesus as a child was fear, it was the bit about Jesus seeing everything you do and my being terrified of that (let me be clear I was a good girl so there was no reason to be worried! lol). So for me, I never really experienced that child like faith, as a child. I often feel I have child like faith now at times, particularly when I say to my fellow friends in "faith" I genuinely believe the world was made in 7 days whereas most of my friends believe it was billions of years. When they ask me how I can believe that I say I don't really feel the need to question what the Bible says, that it might be childlike but I just believe!!

  2. I can relate to your story a lot as well; even though I "knew" Jesus when I was little, I had no comprehension of what it meant to really follow him. It was just a fact of life, I guess, for me to talk to him, though that's as far as it went. It wasn't until college/just after college that I started to understand what it really meant to be a Christian, in a deeper, fruits-of-the-spirit kind of way.

    I've always found it interesting to hear other people's perspectives on how they view God. I did a little exercise like this when I volunteered with the youth group and it was fascinating to see what the girls would share!


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