Behind The Art - Children:

Psalm 127: 3 “Children are a heritage of the Lord.”

Matthew 18:3 “Except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven.”

And in Luke 18:16 Jesus says “Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for of such is the kingdom of Heaven.”

I am straying a bit from the message of Psalm 127, but referring generally to Jesus’ statements about children, what is he telling us? What quality in the child is he recommending? Certainly it is not carelessness or violence or self-centeredness. Perhaps he is pointing us toward that which is child-like, not childish.

At this point I think of my own children, back when they were children, in any of the nearly perpetual crises of their early lives - a bad dream, an injury at play, an illness - any fear or sadness or pain. Their immediate need was expressed with one word, a cry “Mama!” or “Daddy!” There was no negotiation, no “Uh, Dad, when you have a minute, there’s a little situation here I’d like to discuss with you”. No. It was total helplessness, total confidence. This, Jesus is saying, is how you get into heaven.

And it isn’t only dire circumstances that are instructive. I think of a 3 year old on an upper bunk. “Catch me, Daddy”. “No. It’s time to go to sleep. We’ve had our stories. We’ve had our prayers. It’s lights out, Pal.” “Oh, please. Just one time.” Exhilarated, eyes closed, he jumps - a perfection of trust. Being a family teaches us so many things. That’s what I’m trying to learn - or remember – now: how to fall into God.