When I was a child, I loved picture books. At bedtime, lying down next to me, my father would read them for me, and his voice and some illustrations in the books still remain in my memory vividly.
“ Mermaid” was one of my favorite stories: A mermaid who fell in love with a prince, whose life she saved from a shipwreck, made a deal with a witch. Giving up her voice, she received a human figure but she was warned that she would become bubbles and die if she could not win his heart. She, as a human, got close to the prince, but he fell in love with a different woman misunderstanding that she was his savior instead of the mermaid, who could not have a voice to explain the truth. Finally though there was a choice to go back to being a mermaid and live by killing the prince, she chose to become a bubble.
If I think of the story now, a message of “love is a long suffering” was so profound even for a child that it touched me.
“ Happy Prince” was another story I loved very much. On the way to a southern country before winter would come, a swallow was asked by a statue of Happy Prince to deliver gems, which decorated him, to the poor. The swallow accepted the request and became a servant of the prince, but eventually the winter came and the swallow was frozen to death.
Both stories made me cry because they suffered and died without being noticed despite their loving deeds. Sometimes we ask, “ Why does such a bad thing happen to such a good person?” Yet even many children’s stories have told that good people also suffer, and the reason why we are still moved by such stories is that the tragic heroes or heroines never complained about their tragedies but patiently bore them and keep demonstrating their love until they die. It’s touching.
John 14:6 says that Jesus is “the only way, truth, and life. No one comes to the Father except through me (Jesus).” It sounds narrow minded and exclusive, but if we notice that no one else but Jesus was the one who took the suffering and died for our Sin, it is very understandable.
Jesus was the Son of God, but men made him naked, spit on him, humiliated, mocked, lashed and killed him. Nevertheless, Jesus, who was agonizing on the cross, pleaded for us saying, “ Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Jesus, who suffered and died for us, who didn’t know Him as Son of God, the savior, must have been the model of “ Mermaid” and “ Happy Prince”. It is painfully beautiful, powerful, and this is not fiction but real! As welcoming the Easter week, I wish and pray that many more people will know Jesus as our savior.