I was listening to a pretty cool song a few months ago at a great church leadership conference that I attended~ I was sitting next to a dear friend of mine who is a children’s pastor. I had never heard this particular song before, it was a good song and I really don’t remember what the song is called but it had a fun little chorus that sounded like a kid’s worship tune. I turned to my friend and told her, “Hey! This song would be great FOR THE KIDS!” Like….they could really enjoy it. The kids would connect with this song. The kids would enjoy God with this song…..all for the kids. I was then hit by the realization that all 3500+ grown ups that were listening to this great worship tune (including me) are the kids! WE. ARE. THE. KIDS. And most of the adults WERE actually singing along and enjoying the tune. Except I was confused about it. Confused about liking it and the song actually being better for the kids than us ‘grown ups’! Why? Well….
I guess I have grown up a bit and think I need cooler calmer songs? What??
I had never really thought about how I place such an important IMPORTANCE on kids. Like (obviously) my children, the children’s ministry, the kid’s programs, the little kids selling Chiclets on the street in Tijuana that break my heart, the abandoned kids on the street, the kidnapped kid soldiers in Africa and El Salvador, all little children are so fragile and need special attention and care. I love to get on my knees and speak face to face with these little ones. And then we grow up. And it’s over. It. is. over. What?!! Like the cuteness and tenderness and innocence is forever lost. Like the freedom that comes with being a kid is lost. I can’t even sing, praise God and enjoy this fun song? Or I CAN, but OBVIOUSLY it would be better for the kids?
So, as I thought about this- I kept on singing. I didn’t want to be ridiculous or too cool for school so I just looked upward and kept on singing,,,,and then dancing 🙂
Soon enough I actually felt such a relief as I was singing that song- Because Guess what?? I AM the KID!! We ARE the kids! The tenderness that I can feel when I see a little baby or a young child is the same tenderness that MY GOD has for me- even as I grow up and possibly get a hardened heart. Why do I feel like the kid-age is the most important one? Like it is over once I am grown up? Lord, give me that innocence and freshness of faith and spirit!
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” I confess I have done some hindering. In particular my own.
Jesus did not say, “as long as they stay little”. Listen to what the Book of Matthew, Chapter 18 says:
18 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
5 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,[a] it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.
Perhaps this is one of the reasons why kids are so tender in my heart? Perhaps also because they are sill free? And Lord have mercy on my soul…..because I have certainly participated in crushing this freedom now and then. Kids.. I am truly sorry.
I want ‘the faith of a child’. I am a child of God. So. YES… I’m CLAIMING IT! I AM the kid, I can sing any song with the freedom that a 5 year old can. I can talk to God and have this faith that is the simple example that Jesus used to teach his disciples that the Kingdom of Heaven belonged to ‘such as these’. FREEDOM. Yay!