"Let the children come to me; do not prevent them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Amen, I say to you, whoever does not accept the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it." Then he embraced them and blessed them, placing his hands on them."
From the time I was a child, I always liked the Gospel readings that talked about Jesus welcoming little children. Of course, that imagery spoke to me when I was little. I think it made sense even then that things seemed a lot less complicated to children. It seemed easy to be good.
Though I know not every child has a simple, uncomplicated life, I hope all children can experience the wonder and joy that is a part of growing up. Children live in the moment. They experience joy in running down a hill or jumping in a puddle. The world is new every day and holds a surprise around every corner. Have you ever taken a toddler on a walk around the block? Who knew everything could be so interesting? A flower here. A little wall to climb up there. A stick that can be waved around. An ant scurrying across the pavement that needs close inspection. And there, across the street … it’s a dog. What a walk!
God wants us to experience that sense of joy and wonder in our lives, to be in the present, to find surprises around every corner. He offers us unconditional love and acceptance and that can help us, in turn, find God in all things. As a child, I felt sure Jesus loved me. Sometimes now, I’m not so sure as life can be so complicated. I feel I can lose my way. I have to open my heart to God’s love and acceptance and then offer love and acceptance to others.
I need to embrace the child in me and accept God’s blessings. Maybe I just need a walk around the block.