Today’s scripture selection: Matthew 17-19
Key verses: Matthew 18:3-4
It was just an ordinary day at the shopping mall – at least for me. I was wandering among the clothes racks in one of the stores when I felt a small, almost imperceptible tug, on my pants leg. Looking down, I smiled curiously at the source of that tug – a small child, quietly holding on. The problem was he wasn’t paying any attention to whose pants he had gripped.
Well, about that time – the child, who had obviously mistaken my leg for that of his Mom or Dad – looked up. His eyes grew suddenly big – and he let out one of the loudest screams I had ever heard, the kind that can pierce the soul.
Not to worry. No one called store security and accused me of child abduction. It turns out the child’s parent was right there next to me – the mistake was quickly corrected – and soon the little one was happily heading off in another direction, securely attached to the “right” pants leg this time.
I’ve often thought of that day when I have read of Jesus’ teaching about the “little ones” of the kingdom. These small creatures who have no power, no status, and who are the very definition of dependency – these are the ones from whom we are to learn. Why?
Because kingdom living is all about humility. It’s all about “not my will but thine.” Life as followers of the Way means we must first and foremost ask what God desires of us; not what we want to demand from God.
Now sure – I can hear some parent saying incredulously – “well, that’s not my kid he’s talking about.” Children can be all about whining and demanding and putting their needs and desires first.
But they can also be incredibly generous; naturally sympathetic; playful; unabashedly joyful and spiritually thoughtful. At their best, they are perfect examples of who we should be – seeking to live with God as our loving provider and companion – just for the sheer joy of it.
Kids – sometimes they are nobody special. The forgotten; the set aside; the “better seen and not heard” among us. But sometimes, they are the ones to keep our eyes on. They can teach us all about how to be at perfect peace, day in and day out, just holding on to God.
Prayer: Father, when I am surrounded or confronted by the fearful and unknown – help me to have the simple, perfect trust of a child – in you. AMEN.