My wife has been babysitting for a young mom in our church over the last few months. It’s just a couple of hours a day in the afternoons. If you know much about me, I usually don’t deal well with little kids. I just feel awkward around them. Jr. high and up is usually the age groups that I seem to work well with. So Kelley babysitting in our home has been a growing experience for me.
This is my buddy Aaron. He’s around a year and a half old. He has a smile that will just melt your heart at any time. Like I said, him being around has been a growing experience for me. I’ve actually gotten to the point now where I miss him being here on days that he’s not at our house. His little personality is so awesome to watch develop, and he is on the verge of talking, which I’m sure will just be a whole new experience.
He’s taken to me, and loves when I take him outside. The other day, we had a pretty funny exchange. It was one in which I realized just how much he really understands, even when he can’t fully speak yet. He had woken up from nap time and Kelley was in the other room for a minute. I asked him if he wanted to go outside and you could just see his face light up. But then he really blew me away. He walked over to his diaper bag and pulled out his jacket that we normally make him wear when we take him out. He didn’t need it that particular day, because it was actually pretty warm, but his comprehension amazed me. I couldn’t help but laugh at how excited he was to go outside as well.
The best part about having Aaron around though is just watching his joy and wonder taking shape as he discovers new things around him. Watching him trust others without a care in the world is refreshing. As he is around us more, the more he trusts us. And like I said, his smile can just melt your heart (It doesn’t matter how upset he is, me trying to do a Daffy Duck impression brings this huge grin to his face).
Being around his curious and trusting personality has brought life to a passage of scripture. Jesus talks a lot about children throughout His ministry. There is a story in Mark 10, however, that really shows how much He cares about children. The story is found in verses 13-16,
13 People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 15 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” 16 And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.
I’ve always known about Jesus saying that no one will receive the kingdom of God unless they do it like a little child. But something clicked when I was reading through this again recently. Did you notice Jesus’ mood when His disciples were trying to keep the children away from Him? It says He was indignant. Not a word that we use much anymore, so let’s take a look at its definition. Indignant: feeling or showing anger or annoyance at what is perceived as unfair treatment. Jesus was angry at His disciples.
The faith of a child is a wonderful thing. Aaron has shown me this in a very personal way. Watching the way he learns is just incredible. You tell him something and he believes it. The faith of a child is what we need when we are pondering the kingdom of God. And that is why Jesus valued them so highly. Children can teach us how to learn. They can teach us what it means to have faith in Jesus. And according to Jesus, we have to have faith like a child to inherit the kingdom of God. May we all have the faith of a child.