When I was serving in Guatemala in 2015, one little girl left quite an impression on me and I on her. She was smaller and frailer than the rest of the kids and her face held little emotion. I saw her everywhere: on the road, walking, by the house we were building, and at vacation Bible school with her mother. One afternoon, when I was walking into the church to help, the ladies had already started, and the singing was underway. I stood near the mother and the girl, watching as the little girl cried and tried to escape her mom. The mom looked at me and nodded, and I wasn’t sure what she was doing until she put the little girl down and let her run straight to me with her arms open wide. As I picked her up, she clung to me as tightly as her little arms could hold, and I was overwhelmed. I held her, grateful, as we rocked to the music that played. There is only one word that describes this moment: authentic. I could see the distress on her face, trying to break free from her mother, feel her little arms wrap around my neck, and know in my heart that this is the way Jesus loves us. I will never forget this, and I hope to always run to Jesus this way, holding on and never letting go.

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