I am fascinated with childhood.
A child at play can stop me. I lose my to-do list, set aside my busyness and am captivated by the freedom and wonder only a child contains.
I’ve made a conscious choice never to lose my child-likeness. If there’s opportunity to play, to create, to lose myself in the moment, never do I want to be too sophisticated.
Jesus calls us to become like little children. What a strange command that is. We rush over that many times, thinking he simply means we need faith like a child. While that’s true, I think there’s more.
May we become like children.
Free of burdens. Free of time. Free of worried thoughts, cluttering our minds. Free to create with crayons, or paint, or blocks what’s in our imaginations. Free to play with muddy knees and sweaty foreheads. Free to crawl up on daddy’s lap. Free to dance and twirl and sing our hearts out. Free to completely trust.
When we become like that, when we we become that free, then as Jesus says, “The Kingdom of God belongs to such as these.” And only Jesus can make us that free.
One of my favorite books is Madeleine L’Engle’s Walking on Water where she writes, “When we are like little children, then we retain our ability to be creators, our willingness to be open, to believe. Only the most mature of us are able to be childlike. And to be able to be childlike involves memory; we must never forget any part of ourselves. As of this writing I am sixty-one years old in chronology. But I am not an isolated, chronological numerical statistic. I am sixty-one, and I am also four, and twelve, and fifteen, and twenty-three, and thirty-one, and forty-five, and…and…and… If we lose any part of ourselves, we are thereby diminished. If I cannot be thirteen and sixty-one simultaneously, part of me has been taken away.”
How many people do you know who have forgotten part of themselves? They’ve forgotten to remember.
But I am the sum of each moment of my life. I’m allowed to see the world through my four-year old eyes. I can experience my husband with the same freshness of my sixteen year-old heart. I’m able to examine a newborn puppy with the wonder of my two-year old senses.
So I give you permission to skip in public, laugh without hesitation and sing at the top of your lungs. Maybe when we start to let go, we’ll be found again by the Creator of this universe who so badly wants us to crawl up on His lap and call him Daddy.