Wednesday, May 30, 2012
"Unless you become like little children, you will never get into the Kingdom of Heaven." -- Jesus
Motherhood is a kaleidoscope it seems, made up of colors, textures, patterns. This task of raising humans can be described with an endless list of words - some beautiful. Some not as beautiful.
One thing is for sure. Being present with children - watching them play - hurting with them, listening, cleaning up after them, finding rocks in pockets and a piece of a hot dog wienie in their bedroom floor gives mothers an intimate position to daily ponder what on earth Jesus means when He says difficult, crazy things like - "Unless you become like a child you will never get into the kingdom of heaven."
These words seem to be Jesus' line in the sand. A bold statement. Shocking, really. How offended the crowd of men must have been when Jesus called over a child and said, "Who is greatest in the Kingdom of heaven? Either become like this child - or you aren't getting in."
A child? A wonky, never-thinking, needy, always loud, giggly, grabby, toothless child?
Become like them? Them? A child? Or I've missed the whole point of this faith life?
On days when I think I might lose my mind if one more child loses their shoes or when I daydream about being someone important or long for a time when these souls are less needy and I have more time to think about grownup things, I'm trying to remember these confusing words of Christ. While the world is running and smart people are busy with important agendas and brilliant minds are debating rich ideas I've been given a gift I guess - this life I live fully immersed in the habitat of children - these moments spent wrapped up in what the Kingdom of God is all wrapped up in - childlikeness.
"There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children" - Nelson Mandela
It makes me wonder why I'm tempted to think investing deeply in my kids is less than investing in something else and why churches have to pay people to work in their nurseries because no one wants that job. The Kingdom seems to be contained in these creatures we wish would grow up - the ones we can't wait to put in bed - the ones we try not to be put in charge of on Sundays. Could it be that we're missing something? And not in a "Hmm...that's something to consider" sort of way but instead in a "Hold the phone - if we aren't getting this, we may not be getting anything" sort of way.
I'm sitting at my computer watching my children play outside of my window. Their hair is blowing. Their shoes are missing. They are an eruption of noises, dirt, and unpredictability. Studying them is studying the Kingdom. One day maybe I'll understand what an honor living in their world truly is.