EXCERPT 8 – I WILL NOT HIDE  (Last excerpt)

I was treated like a child, though I wasn’t aware I was behaving like one. Even now, as I look back, I find it hard to believe I showed the child in me to the extent I did. I had thought my child lived mostly in my heart.

A friend and I once talked 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 was a very young child, probably three years old. A very sensitive child.

A child with such sensitivity feels strongly. And as long as the child remains within, this sensitivity 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. A young child who does not develop the more masked, more controlled sensitivity of an adult, leads a hard life. She easily misunderstands others or is misunderstood.

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

But 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, endure 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 understand.

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)