Lepers, Loons and Losers:
Part 5: Children
Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to
such that the Kingdom of God belongs...And he took them up in his arms, laid
his hands on them, and blessed them.
--Mark 10: 14,16 (NRSV)
When you think of children, you do not usually think of "losers." They
are "cute" and "lovable." But in a world in which everyone and everything is
so much bigger and stronger than you are, their vulnerability can seem to create
Children are small. They have no power or status. They are not taken
all that seriously. They are prey to any and all who desire to harm or exploit
them. Yet it is not these attributes of children that Jesus urges us to
Children have a sense of wonder about the world and themselves (anyone
who has ever heard a baby repeat the same self-made sound ad nauseam and marvel
at their own voice will know what I mean). They find joy in the simple
things: a swing, a puddle of inviting (and prohibited) water, funny sounds and
faces, snow, candy, bugs, the list goes on. Yet most importantly, children trust.
They are generally very trusting people, sometimes to their detriment. At
times they misplace their trust and end up suffering because of it.
These are the aspects of children that usher us into the Kingdom of God.
We are to cultivate a sense of wonder, to move through life with eyes, ears
and hearts wide open, and receptive. When was the last time you stopped and
really looked at a sunrise or a star-splashed sky? Have you ever allowed
yourself to truly listen to the pounding surf, the gentle splash of raindrops, or a
sleeping beloved's gentle breath? When was the last time you examined the
intricacies of a leaf or flower or strolling insect and marveled at the design and
fragility of it all?
We are to cultivate joy. When was the last time you took a deep breath
of crisp morning air and allowed the simple goodness of the moment recharge
your soul? When you eat, do you allow yourself to really taste the food God has
so lavishly provided, or do you rush through meals as you rush through life?
When was the last time you belted out a song, on key or off, with no thought
of what others might think?
Above all, we are to cultivate trust. We trust the chair we sit in will
support us. Do we trust that God desires to be at least as supportive of us
as a piece of furniture? Obstacles to trust, such as past betrayals or trust
misplaced, can make trusting in God's love for us difficult for some. But
while it may be difficult it is not impossible.
Look at Jesus. Nowhere is it recorded where Jesus ever betrayed the
trust of anyone. Over and over, Jesus provides ample evidence that he is worthy
of trust. And if his words were not enough to convince us, his bloodied,
blasphemed and lacerated body, as well as the empty Easter tomb, should prove
beyond any doubt that he is trustworthy. Jesus will never lie to you. He will
never betray you or shun you. He does not wait to love you until you are
perfect enough, pure enough, straight enough. He loves you now with a love that
has embraced you since before you were born. He loves you with a love that
drove him to the cross for your sake. He loves you with a love that nothing can
Today, pray for a childlike heart. Pray that Jesus open your eyes, your
ears, your soul to embrace the world that waits to embrace you, to swim in its wonder, and to rest in the arms of the one who bids you, "Come to me."
Read Lepers, Loons and Losers from
Copyright © 2004 by the author
All Rights Reserved
| Our Mission | What
We Believe | FAQ | Issues
| Prayer Requests | TeleSeminars | Daily Devotions | Religion Dispatch Blog | Audio Whosoever | Whosoever Podcast | Resources
| Letters To The Editor | Reverent
Responses | Seeds of Hope | Reader
Survey | Bookstore
| Contact Us