“Ask a kindergarten class, “How many of you can draw?” and all hands shoot up. Yes, of course we can draw—all of us. What can you draw? Anything!
How many of you can sing? All hands. Of course we sing! What can you sing? Anything! What if you don’t know the words? No problem, we make them up. Let’s sing! Now? Why not!
How many of you dance? Unanimous again. What kind of music do you like to dance to? Any kind. Let’s dance! Now? Sure, why not?…
Their answer is Yes! Over and over again, Yes! The children are confident in spirit, infinite in resources, and eager to learn. Everything is still possible. excerpt from Uh-oh, by Robert Fulghum
This past weekend, my mom and I went on a road trip to upstate New York. While in Rochester we spent time with the kiddos. Observing our grandson at play and work is pure joy for me. The way he looks at the world, the purity of his smile, those long-lashed eyes that twinkle and flirt with the waitresses without even trying—it’s all so captivating to me. I see what Mr. Fulghum is saying about the possibilities that exist in the minds of small children.
I try to pull myself away from watching my grandson when I visit him at his home. I want to talk to my adult children while I’m there, and I don’t want them to think that I make the trip to Rochester only to see the toddler in their house. Still, this boy is like a super magnet, the way he pulls me in. Human vanity shifts into overdrive when I’m with *J*, because if I’m being honest, I think he is the most handsome child on the face of the earth. God’s fingerprints are all over that boy, to the point that I find myself applauding with enthusiasm a job well done whenever I’m with him!
The Bible says that Jesus not only allowed children to come sit with him (at his feet, or perhaps in his lap), but he also rebuked those adults who would hinder them as they tried to come. I love my Jesus for that. In Luke’s gospel it records him as having said, “…for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
Bravo! There He is again, that rebel, my Jesus–giving the kingdom away to those deemed by the world as less worthy. Doesn’t he know He’s not supposed to do that? What’s the matter with Him? Why doesn’t he understand?
Oh, He understands and He doesn’t care. Although He is the Mightiest of The Mighty (and a King in His own rite), our Savior chats it up with strange women at wells, touches people with infectious diseases and invites grubby children onto his lap. Little does he care that the adult world is wailing, chomping at the bit, pushing and shoving. Into his heart he takes the children, even as adults are waiting their turn. Is it any wonder that I love him so?
If it’s been a while since you looked at the world through the eyes of a child, may I recommend the practice to you? If you are the parent of small children, you, more than anyone, may be at risk of having forgotten what it is to dream. Let me give you permission to do it today. Get on the floor with your kids. Linger for a minute. Look around. What do you see? Don’t worry about supper. Jesus would approve of this time spent with Him. Kids don’t worry about supper being on time, anyway. The kingdom of heaven is theirs, you know, so go ahead, be a child. If you’re not very careful, you may find that in those moments you’re acting more like Jesus would want you to act than you ever, ever have.