Three simple words. That’s all He asked. But I couldn’t say them. No, that not true. I wouldn’t say them.

In the spring of 1981, I stood wedging a piece of clay in my Art 12 class at Stanley Humphries High School. One table away, a vivacious blonde-haired dropout had taken advantage of the leniency of our teacher and stopped in to chat with some of her friends while they worked.

“Tell her I love her!” 

I looked around to see if anyone else had heard anything. Nope. Everyone seemed engrossed in their pottery or engaged in conversation. The request was straightforward enough, it just seemed ridiculously simple. What would this girl, who I hadn’t really spent any time with since grade school think of me if I marched over there and announced, “God loves you!” 

Sweat beaded my brow, and my stomach began churning as the moments ticked away on the clock. The period was almost over and the free-spirited young woman picked up her skateboard and left. 

“Run after her! Tell her I love her!” The voice was insistent. Several months prior to this, my best friend and I felt that God wanted us to invite this young lady to come to our church youth group with us. But for one reason or another, it never seemed the right time and we never did.

My heart was pounding. My mind racing. Fear and apprehension rooted me to the spot but my eyes followed her through the art room windows until she disappeared from sight. 

On the school bus the next morning, one of my friends asked, “Did you hear about the accident in Robson? A 16-year old girl was killed.” Immediately, my friend’s face flashed before my eyes and I gasped, “Dear God, I hope it wasn’t Dawn!”

A little later, my best friend walked into homeroom with mascara streaks down her face. In a trembling whisper she asked, “Did you hear what happened to Dawn?” With gut-wrenching anguish, I sobbed, “She was the 16-year old girl killed on Broadwater Rd. wasn’t she?” 

Years later, God allowed me to learn that this dear girl had left behind a Bible with certain Scriptures underlined. She was obviously on a faith-journey and had questions. Perhaps the most pressing one was to know if God loved her.

It has been said that something’s value is reflected by how much is paid for it. John 3:16-17 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

Thirty-five years ago, God asked me to share that truth, but fearing ridicule and rejection, I refused. Today, I want you to know, the cross is a revelation of how precious and valuable you are to God. Yes! God loves you!