“Be a child again. Flirt. Giggle. Dip your cookies in your milk. Take a nap. Say you’re sorry if you hurt someone. Chase a butterfly. Be a child again.”
Recently, I heard a speaker, who is a theologian and seminary professor, talk about one of his son’s friends—a young man who claimed to reject the concept of God, let alone the deity of Jesus. The young man asked his friend’s dad, “What is it that so captivates you about Jesus?”
Since hearing this story, the question that young man asked has remained stuck in my brain! Over and over I’ve asked myself this question.
What is it that so captivates you about Jesus, Sue? “
It’s a good question.
It’s a question I’ve enjoyed pondering.
Without a doubt, one of the characteristics of Jesus that captivates me most is his love for children. I’ve got to be honest, children are my favorite people, and I imagine they’re also some of Jesus’s favorites—if, indeed, Jesus has favorites!
I like The Message version of a familiar passage of Scripture in Matthew 18. Jesus was talking to his disciples who asked the question: “Who gets the highest rank in God’s kingdom?”
For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, “I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom. What’s more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it’s the same as receiving me. (Matt. 18: 2-5)
My friend Jamie (a pseudonym) told me a wonderful story the other day about the significance of a simple childhood gesture.
Jamie had attended a seminar one recent Saturday, and the content stirred up some old heart wounds. She recognized the swirling emotions and felt her spirit’s downward spiral while driving home.
Jamie, well acquainted with the feelings, struggled to pull herself from the all-too- familiar funk.
It was then she noticed a little boy, carrying a bag of groceries, walking on the sidewalk.
Then, as Jamie glanced again, the little boy started skipping.
A simple childhood behavior, but as Jamie watched the little boy skip on down the street, grocery bag swinging alongside his miniature body, her spirits lifted. My friend returned home determined to lean in to that long-held heart pain. She resolved to keep trekking along into the journey of heart healing she knows God is leading her.
Today’s blog post may not be particularly profound. Or, is it?
Perhaps, sometimes, the remedy to sorting out the myriad of issues with which we deal in this complicated world is to become, like Jesus told his friends, simple and elemental once again. With child-like simplicity,
Making a silly face!
Dancing to the tune buried deep within your heart!
Allowing your imagination to be captivated by Jesus!
Blessings as you skip into your journey with childlike simplicity!
Make a silly face!
Dance to the tune buried deep within your heart!