One sweet surprise in having six children: you get a lot of peeks into the world of a little child. And you get a lot of happy excuses to become like one too.
As a mom, I’ve learned to take joy in the most primitive of milestones–like the first scribbles that remotely represent our family–oblong potato people with sticks for arms and legs. Or the success of a shoe tied with a loose, loopy knot. Or the first brave jump off the bank into the river below.
I’ve also been invited to join in childish pleasures. I suppose it would be a strange sight to see a “forty-something-year-old” skipping solo down the sidewalk. But when she is holding the hand of her toddler, it is perfectly reasonable and even brings a smile from passersby.
What is it about “child-like-ness” that is so appealing, even commendable, in God’s economy? After all, the whole goal of parenting is to help my children grow toward maturity. But there is an aspect of a child’s heart that I hope they never outgrow . . . the knowing of neediness. Humility.
Jesus is our example in this. He is the Humble God who Himself wore the flesh of a child. He pursued the outcasts, broke bread with a band of ragtag disciples, then stretched His pierced hands in one transcendent act of humility and submission.
When He walked among us, He brought the little ones close to Him: He left the applause of heaven, an ever-praising host, to listen to the chatter of a child.
So where am I in this process? Do I humbly see my dependence on my Father for everything? Do I long to be close to Him, to climb up on His lap and tell Him about my day? Do I make my relationship with Him too complicated–too full of doing and not full enough of simply enjoying?
My days are laden with living lessons in this simple, humble love. Just last week, I took my kids to the pool. It was one of those days when the sun was warm but the air was cool. Anna was lying on the concrete, tummy down and sprawled out, trying to get warm. I joined my little one in her humble posture. Just the two of us, bowed low, face down and face to face. She didn’t say a word, but she put her hand on my neck, just glad I was there. A picture of humble grace.
Though the pool was a busy place that day, for those moments it was just us . . . one a child and the other longing to be more like one, yearning for His welcome in the kingdom of Heaven.