Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.” (Mark 10:13-16)
Years ago I wrote a poem entitled, “The Leaf from who knows where.” The story behind the verse occurred on a walk with my toddling son. I held his hand as we began yet another journey through our back yard. Suddenly he stopped and pointed at the ground. Then he bent down and picked up his find. With big bright eyes and his mouth shaped in a “Wow!” he held up the treasure for me to see. It was a dead brown leaf from the year previous. Yeah, wow I thought. My eyes were the eyes of a somber agnostic cynic. I saw yawn, but he saw wonder. And it hit me right there right then; the huge difference between that precious innocent little child and his wretched jaded father. So I smiled a big smile while he shared his great discovery with me. The last line in the poem is: “I looked at his shining eyes and we sat down right there, And we “Ohh’d and Ahh’d” at the leaf from who knows where.”
No one can teach spiritual truths and realities like little kids. They receive the kingdom of God with nary a doubt or objection. Their faith is simple, helpless and trusting. They have no pretense nor temperament which disposes them to depend on their own resources or achievements. How refreshing it is to witness such faith.
Jesus flat out tells us wretched jaded adults: “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 18:3) Without the kind of faith possessed by children we will always try to work our way into God’s favor. We cannot. But that doesn’t seem to stop us from trying and hence the eyes of somber doubting cynicism.
When was the last time you and I “Ohh’d and Ahh’d” at God’s creation, God’s word, and God’s gift of His beloved Son? God bless the children among us – and may we be found as one of them.