I don’t know where she got the idea. Maybe it was because we’d just visited our friend’s dairy farm. She found the animals intimidating—larger than life. In my daughter’s world, those cattle were the biggest thing imaginable. That might be why, when her dad asked her, “How much does Daddy love you?” our two-year-old answered, “Cows.”
“Cows?” My husband laughed. “Silly, how much does Daddy love you?”
Again, she answered, “Cows.”
For days, our daughter upheld this baffling reply until finally my husband taught her an appropriate response. I walked into the family room to find them both beaming and clapping their hands.
“Say it for Mom!” my husband cheered. “How much does Daddy love you?”
“Lots!” she shouted. “Lots and cows!”
It’s been several months since we first heard this phrase, and now it’s etched in our ears and on our hearts. Our toddler declares at random, “Momma, I love you lots and cows.” She says it to her sister and to her daddy. So we reply with hugs and the same special endearment. “I love you lots and cows, too.”
I wonder—how much does God love us? If he had to describe in human-scale terms his colossal, unfathomable love, I think he’d say. . .
I love you this sunset.
I love you Grand Canyon.
I love you Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and Mars.
My child, can’t you see? I love you Jesus.
Wow. That is big indeed.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life,” (John 3:16).
“How much does Momma love you?” I asked my daughter yesterday.
“Lots and cows!” She smiled.
I kissed her forehead, held her cheeks in my hands and followed up with a new question. “And how much does God love you?”
“Lots and cows—and peanut butter!”
Precious girl. She gets it.