Sometimes I can be heard proclaiming– and in not-so-kind-or-gentle terms– “They destroy everything they touch!” And sometimes there’s a “#%**$?!*$%” in between the ‘they’ and the ‘touch’.
Tonight those words were spoken. And then I continued loading the washing machine with all of the dirty whites. But I thought to myself (as I stain-sticked a pair of muddied shorts), “and yet, sometimes, everything they touch… is GOLD.” I’m not sure that was me speaking, though. I’m pretty sure it was the Spirit.
Because the Lord of life calls us to be like the little children, and I needed to be reminded of that. Yes, they break things. Yes, they are messy. Yes, they keep on doing the things we ask them not to do. But aren’t we like the children, in our weakest moments? We break things: relationships, expectations, hearts, and spirits. We are messy. We are sooooo broken. And we keep doing the things we don’t want to do, despite knowing better and wanting to be better. Just like my favorite follower of The Way, Paul, spoke so many years ago…
“I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate… I do.” ~ Romans 7:15
But despite their messy brokenness, we are still called to be like the children. Not in their strong moments, but in their weakest moments. The moments when children ARE listening. Those moments when they CLING TO OUR EVERY WORD, because THEY TRUST US. And they DESIRE TO PLEASE. And THEY WANT TO LEARN. And they want for us to HOLD THEIR HAND. They SEEK OUR GUIDANCE. And THEY WANT TO KNOW TRUTH. And THEY HAVE NO PRE-CONCEIVED NOTIONS to hold them back. THEY ASK QUESTIONS. And THEY HOPE. And THEY DREAM. And THEY BELIEVE. They whole-heartedly, unabashedly, unashamedly… BELIEVE.
As I sit here writing this while watching my youngest eat his Trader Joe’s mac & cheese balls, I don’t EVER want him to know that I sometimes think that ‘he breaks everything he touches.’ I want him to know THIS: that I believe that sometimes, what he touches… he turns to gold. Because that’s the lesson he gave me tonight. And I’m thankful for the Spirit who opened my eyes to see it.
At that time the disciples came to Jesus and said, “Who then is greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. ~ Matthew 18: 1-4
So tonight I am thankful that my littlest child actually broke something, for in the grand scheme of things, it is so very insignificant. Because the still small voice that came into my head while stain-sticking the muddied shorts… that’s what matters. And that voice who told me that this messy child can also turn what he touches to gold? I’m clinging to THAT. And I’m learning from it… from him. Because something, someone, tells me that’s what I am supposed to do.
“See that you do not look down on one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.” ~ Matthew 18:10