The painting is titled Under His Wing and is by Jay Bryant Ward.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
The other day I was at a luncheon and the speaker was telling a story about her granddaughter. At the time the instance happened her granddaughter was a small child about three. Every year their family goes to a local production of the Life of Christ. Now this was the first time the little girl had attended. All of her three years, she had been taught that Jesus loves her and that God is good and all the other things we teach young children in Sunday School. That it’s good to love Jesus, he will care for you when no one else does. Well it never dawned on her family that she had not heard “the rest of the story” about what happened to Christ at the end of his ministry. So as the pageant unfolded past the birth of Christ and the story of His teaching in the temple as a young boy, it came to the part where Christ made his triumphant entry into Jerusalem. The little girl was so excited and began to shout, “There’s Jesus! Look Nana, there’s Jesus! There’s Jesus!” She could hardly contain her excitement and could not stay in here seat. Everyone around was amused at her delight, but the amusement wouldn’t last. We as adults know what happens next in the story, Jesus is arrested, beaten and crucified, but the little child didn’t know that part of Jesus’ life. She continued to watch the play and as the actors portraying the Roman soldiers began to whip, beat, tear his clothes and spit on Jesus she became very upset and began screaming, “STOP! STOP! Don’t hurt Jesus! Nana make them stop!” The child was now crying uncontrollably and could not be consoled. Everyone around was now not amused, but so touched by this little child’s honest trust and love for her Jesus. The one that she had learned about that was love and goodness, why were they hurting him? The grandma kept trying to tell the child, “It will be alright, you’ll see. There’s a happy ending.” but the child kept crying, “Stop hurting Jesus.” Well, at the luncheon, I was so moved by the story that I couldn’t help but get weepy. I have experienced many times as a kindergarten teacher that pure innocence of a little child and their trust. It is so heartbreaking when that trust is betrayed. As the days got more hectic with the holidays I would forget about the story, but it would always creep back into my mind. And God kept prompting me to have child like faith, to trust in him explicitly and to love him like no other. In Mark 10:14-16 we find a perfect example of how we are to believe, “I tell you the truth, 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, put his hands on them and blessed them.” (NIV) As I am writing this I am convicted once again, to cast off my blinders, shed my hardened heart and love, worship and trust Christ as a little child, completely and explicitly. As we go forward in the New Year may that be our prayer for all of us to have the faith of a child.