Day 15 of Lent – A lighter Wednesday: Who is like a child?
Verse for reflection: He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18: 2-4
Children have much to teach us—including on this Lenten journey. Here, in no particular order, are things, both profound and profane, my kids have tried to teach me—or teach their siblings:
~ When I was pregnant with our third child, the oldest saw me reading a book. “Mommy, is that book about pregnancy?”
“No,” I replied. “Why?”
“Well,” she said, like a stern nurse, “you should be reading books about being pregnant.” (Not that I hadn’t had a baby before or anything.)
Michelle feeding baby Doreen
~ It was at the beginning of this same pregnancy that I shared the news with a family of three kids, all of whom had been adopted as foster children. When I excitedly shared the news that we were going to have a new baby, they smiled politely and one asked, “Do you mean foster or adopted?”
~ Big sister to younger sister when she first headed to school: “Don’t forget—a rule at our school is, “Don’t walk out of the bathroom with your pants still down!’”
Tanya looking up to big sister Michelle at school
~ My post last week about digging a well after struggling with a cistern for many years reminded my oldest daughter of how amused my husband and I were upon hearing her leading her two-year-old sister in a game of “check the water in the cistern.” She had leaned over the heavy cement lid, pretending to lift it up like Mommy did, loudly grunting “uh” in the process. Until that instant, I had never realized I always made such a graphic sound when checking the water in the cistern! We howled with laughter.
And I don’t remember now which one of my kids said these:
~ “Mommy, what comes after the New Testament?” Great question.
~ “If you say God doesn’t need to sleep [Psalm 121], why did Genesis say God rested?”
~ “Why don’t they list the mothers?” (after hearing a genealogy from the Bible).
~ “Did God write the Bible?”
And sometimes it is not so much something they say that prompts chuckles or a lump in the throat, but an action: a tissue brought for a crying sibling; a Cheerio shared with the family dog.
Tanya holding out a Cheerio to dog Wendy
If we think of children coming to us fresh from the hand of God, I don’t think it is too far-fetched to let their words—profound or embarrassing—speak to us. Children will humble us, like Jesus said, enabling us to enter the kingdom of heaven.
Action: If you have children or grandchildren around, allow them to lead you closer to God. If you don’t have any around, enjoy looking at some photo albums (like I’ve been) today. Call, email or text the special children in your life, whether your own or a friend’s.