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Jesus Loves Me

47. Jesus Loves Me

I don’t remember it because I was so young, but my mother used to tell me that when I was two years old, I stood in front of the church and sang “Jesus Loves Me” all by myself. When I think of myself as a little girl and even a youth, I think that I was shy, so it is impressive to me that I would do this. It must have been before shy took over.

I’ve always loved the story behind “Jesus Loves Me.” It was written by Anna Warner. The Warner sisters, Anna and Susan, lived in New York City and their father bought Constitution Island in the Hudson River for a summer home. But following the panic of 1837, he lost a great deal, and suddenly the summer home became their only home. The two sisters decided to try to make money writing and this song was created by Anna to go in Susan’s novel, Say and Seal.

These sisters conducted Bible classes for fifty years for cadets. A boat brought the cadets from nearby West Point and I always imagined even the cadets singing this song with the two women.

The book Spiritual Moments with the Great Hymns by Evelyn Bence reports that someone asked an older Karl Barth whether he could summarize the essence of his theological discoveries. He replied, “Jesus loves me! this I know. For the Bible tells me so.”

I’ve learned that it is true—that Jesus loves me always, even when I’m having a hard time loving myself. Probably then, more than ever, Jesus does love me.

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