A young child wanders into my office. “What’s that?” he asks pointing to one of the many artifacts that adorn my office. It’s music to my ears.
I know that children can be adorable, and that they can be an intrusion in the business world, but I love having them wander into my world, the Office of Pastor. Some of my things have a strong gravitational pull for children, like my Jesus action figure on a lower shelf, right next to Little Miss Chatterbox. Some are confusing, like my Anglican prayer beads which are not standard in the Methodist world. Every glance and each proceeding question is an opportunity for conversation, the religious dialogue of inquisitiveness. When did we adults get too self conscious to ask questions, to seek answers to even the most trivial of things?
“People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them” (Mark 10:13-16 NRS).
(Image courtesy of turnbacktogod.com)
How do we “receive the kingdom of God as a little child?” We once had faith like a child; it was new, excited, and curious. We were eager to listen, to learn, and asked every question that came to mind. Then we got afraid to seem silly, stupid, uneducated, and we stopped asking. Maybe we are still seeking, but seeking will only go so far when we refuse to ask the deeper questions. God is ever ready and willing to receive our questions, welcomes them with infinite patience. Maybe centuries upon centuries of reading Job have left us pensive about asking God questions, but there is a distinct difference between asking questions from a position of demanding an accounting from God, as Job was, and those questions asked from curious faith seeking to learn and grow.
I have heard many pastors preach that faith like a child means blind faith, but children do not often have blind faith. They ask “why” and “how come?” They thirst for answers and for the interaction they have in receiving them. Let us rekindle that craving for answers and interaction with God. Let us renew our child-like faith so that we will never stall in our relationship with God, always growing closer and deeper. The next time you wonder why, ask and be willing to go on an exploration so that you will not only find answers, but relationship with your religious leaders, your fellow Christians, and your God.
You see all things and know even our darkest secrets.
Your knowledge does not keep you from loving us;
Instead, you draw closer to us.
Help us rediscover our curiosity,
Let our minds wander back to you,
And away from worldly concerns that dominate our days.
Like the smallest of children, let us grasp your outstretched hand,
Walking by your side, pondering all that we see.
We crave a more meaningful relationship with you, our Creator.
Let no question go unasked,
And we will trust that you will provide us with answers.
Even if they are not the ones we want or expect.
For faith in all things,