“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.

Mark 10:14-16

 After church last Sunday a woman and I were talking about how each of us has a child within. She asked, “How old is the child in you?” I didn’t have to think long. I knew that I was still a child. A very young child, probably five years old. A very sensitive child.

A child with such sensitivity feels strongly, in a way that might never be completely eased as she grows to adulthood. Such a child can feel pain at the slightest sign of rejection, even when that rejection is only perceived.

But Jesus calls on us to be like a child – to have a child-like spirit. He would like us to come to Him as a child would – eagerly, wholeheartedly, with honesty, humility and trust.

Do you have such a child-like spirit within you? And do you, like so many, struggle with a sensitive nature? Has that part of you given you difficulties? Has your sensitivity not yet learned to filter out what might easily hurt?

A young child who does not develop the more masked, more controlled sensitivity of an adult, leads a hard life. We easily misunderstand others or are misunderstood. Feelings of rejection come easily with the great pain that accompanies it. So why does Jesus encourage us to be child-like?

Why Lord? Why? When for so many it leads to pain?

What if our wholeheartedness knows no bounds as it would for a more reserved adult? What if who we so openly and willingly trust is not trustworthy? What if our love, exuberant as a child’s love, is not returned? What if the person we thought was our friend does not smile at us or say hi? What do we do with the hurt, Lord? How can we – as the children we are – handle the pain?

And you want us to be like children? Uninhibited, innocent, open, filled with wonder? Is that really such a great thing, Lord?

But… I hear you saying: “Open your hearts wide to receive the love I give you. Joyfully share that love with others. Wonder at the world I’ve made. Be amazed. Take your Bible – my Word – and receive what it says as my message to you, eagerly accepting it as truth.”

This is the child-like spirit I want to see.

And now I get it!

God wants us to be a child for Him. For Him alone. He alone is our true Father. He alone is trustworthy and all-loving. With God we are safe to be as child-like as we’d like to be. We can love God with abandon and we won’t be hurt.


“And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them.” Mark 10:16