A Little Child
“Yes! I tell you, whoever does not receive the Kingdom of God like a child will not enter it!”
In church today, I suddenly heard this verse completely differently. I’m reading a book right now that recommends reading the Bible ‘against the grain’. I don’t know if that is what I did, but I was suddenly overcome with a need to write down what I heard in my mind’s ear. Is that what happened to the prophets when they were blown over by the breath of the Holy Spirit? Maybe that’s not such an unusual happening as we are taught to think. Not something that used to happen in far off ancient Israel in a mountain or a cave, but a thing that can come over any of us, anytime.
Anyway, here is what I frantically scribbled down during the exchange of the peace—
“Receive the Kingdom as a little child..”
Not us; not the ones receiving; but the Kingdom, that is what is like a child!
Receive the Kingdom, abashed after being chided by Jesus— receive it with cheeks flaming because Jesus is indignant that we tried to turn it away.
Receive the Kingdom as if it were helpless and trusting— counting on us to take care of it.
Receive the Kingdom even when it throws tantrums, and utters piercing shrieks fit to burst your eardrums at random moments.
Receive the Kingdom even when it defeats the child locks, gets into the bottom cupboard, and scatters the flour and sugar all over the floor.
Watch out for the Kingdom when you are backing out of your driveway on your way to work.
Put up with the Kingdom when it sniffles and whines because it wants some treat it can’t have.
Be patient with the Kingdom when it lies to you about who broke the toy.
Take care of the Kingdom when it falls off the swing set and breaks its arm— take it to the ER and hold its hand while the bone is set.