The internet has been in tears for the last couple of weeks.
In honor of the 25th anniversary of the children’s TV show “Blues Clues,” the original star, Steve Burns, recorded a brief video directed to the kids who watched him all those years ago.
The video immediately went viral.
For those of you who don’t know, from 1996 until 2002, Steve and his animated dog, Blue, helped children find clues and solve problems. When Steve decided it was time for him to leave the show, the producers told the kids that he was going to “college” and that his brother Joe was now going to take care of Blue and help the kids solve the clues.
For many kids, Steve’s departure was abrupt. In his video, he basically told them he was sorry for leaving so suddenly. He talked about how his life and their lives had changed over the years. Then he told the millions of Millennial young adults who watched him as children, “I guess I just wanted to say, after all these years, I never forgot you … ever.”
The internet has been sniffling ever since.
Steve’s heartfelt words stirred feelings of nostalgia and longing in the hearts of all those children now adults. This last week, my kids and I binge-watched videos on YouTube of young adults watching the video for the first time.
Without fail, they all started crying.
As I watched Steve’s video again and again, I realized Jesus could actually make a similar video. In a way, he left rather abruptly. Forty days after his resurrection, he ascended into heaven as his disciples watched, confused and perplexed, like children watching a balloon float away. They would never see him again here on earth.
Before he left, though, he promised them he would never really leave them. He promised them he would never forget them. He promised them he would come back and take them to be with him in heaven.
As children, many of us learned the story of Jesus’ ascension in Sunday School. When we were little, our parents took us to church. We got to know Jesus. We got to see his great love for us. We grew to love him and trust in him.
But then something happened. Just like children who stop watching cartoons like Blue’s Clues, many young adults in our world have turned off church. They have left Jesus behind as something quaint which they no longer need. They are too busy with their adult lives. They are too sophisticated to believe those “children’s stories.”
If that describes you – if you grew up in church, but feel you have “outgrown” Jesus – he has a message for you.
It’s not a video, though. It’s the Bible.
And in the Bible he tells you, “No matter how far away you’ve gotten from me – even if you’ve forgotten about me – I’ve never forgotten you … ever. I’ve never left you. I will never stop loving you.”
Jesus isn’t simply a quaint character from our childhood. He is God himself. He is your Savior. And he has never forgotten you. He has never left you. Until your dying day, he will never give up on you.
My prayer is that those truths can still lead you to tears.