“But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.“ Matthew 19:13-15
Did you know that infants and toddlers, up to a certain age and under normal circumstances are very sensitive to the Holy Spirit. They can sense the presence of evil and can tell evil and fake people from the real ones. The only problem is that they are little and powerless so their observations can always be overridden and their cries for help stifled. I hope this does not sound spooky to you, because it is not. It is simply real and exists. Now don’t go setting up a test for me; it never works. If it is a set-up, then I am apt to step right over it and keep walking. Call it divine immunity and say alleluia to that. I could always tell as a little girl when someone was devious and fake, but since I wasn’t known for my many words then (believe it or not), I would simply cry when the situation was sticky (and you thought I was born a tigress). At that time, it was an innocent soul in tune with purity and everything good. Today it is the Holy Spirit leading and guiding and of course protecting.
My very best friends are all under the age of five (5 years) or there about. Surprising? Well they are the ones that often approach me without a chip on their shoulder, warped expectations, and they often see me for who I really am and they absolutely love me for me! I hardly fuss over babies and toddlers, I usually connect to them on a different and special level. In the end, they fuss over me! They are always the ones that God uses to put a special smile on my face, when nothing else has an impact. They are fresh, pure and most importantly real. I cannot tell you how many times I have been on the bus, subway or walking down the street when that cute little face beckons to me with much aplomb and excitement, and then more often than not, their mother or caretaker would tell me that they acted out of character. In other words, they usually do not yell out to people (strangers) like that, or make to be carried like they did to me.
We always communicate without words and a searching look into their cherubic faces tells me a thousand and one tales. The only problem; is that every now and then, I hear a heart wrenching story and I can hardly bear it as I ask God why? Then as rhetorical as I relegate the question to be, I remind myself that God is Sovereign and has all the resources and power to fix and correct situations when He sees fit. I never paid that much of an attention to the interests of the little people, or attached an importance to the way we connected (I felt it was common) until I got older. Here is an example of how God set out to show me and the rest of the world the wonders of His little workers.
I was having a very disappointing day (no comments please) and getting quite frustrated as I boarded the bus. It was packed full with passengers, so rather than sidle to the back, I settled down in the front. Without realizing it, I was wearing my frustration on my face and that made me look mean (word). But this day I did not care; I had so much on my mind and time was deserting me I thought as I settled for what was supposed to be a hitch-free bus ride downtown. Across from me sat a woman, her baby and the stroller. The woman looked mean and angry (even more than I did), a result I guess of ‘the sleepless big apple’s’ influence on the lives of its inhabitant. And the baby? Well she was absorbing every negative exchange by now so she too looked as mean as a chubby, pink, cute little infant could look! As the bus crawled down the street, and the driver made sure he made every red light (which seemed to add to my exasperation), I looked across the aisle and saw the baby watching me. I sent her a wordless message, as I looked her intently in the eye. ”This was not play day missy’ I thought to myself as I tried to hide a grin. She stared right back as if to say ‘everyday is play day for me and you have to join’. I frowned harder to see if I could scare her to stop looking at me; she did not budge. Instead, she started to smile as she looked deeply into my eyes (It is their way of saying: I see beyond the surface and I like what I see, I like you). I could not help it as I too started to break out into a smile. Now she was laughing hysterically at me, and I was besides myself in giggles. The whole bus looked on in dismay as the baby’s mother struggled to make sense of the situation unfolding right before her eyes. Baby was throwing back her head at this point as she guffawed, I well… could not really catch my breath as I l tried to control the uncontrollable fits of laughter. In no time, we had the bus in a state of ‘happy chaos’. Every person was either grinning or laughing out as loud as they thought reasonable. “Who are you?” asked the stunned mother as she disembarked with baby and stroller in tow; ‘I never saw my daughter (baby) so happy before,’ she quipped as she strapped baby in the stroller. The bus was starting to move, so she never heard me say ‘I am just the servant of the Most High God, who is filled with His Spirit of joy…
Once when I was with some family at a holiday gathering. We were all in this huge house filled with children and adults alike. I was having a tremendous time until some adults hit the bottle and started acting up. I scolded them as I retreated to the family room to get a breather. They continued with the lewd jokes and loud noises so I started praying loudly for them. You never saw people run off as quickly as they did, each scrambling to be the first out the door. As soon as I settled there, the remaining adults got up and left (something about they were going to repent of deeds done in the past…), whatever. As I sat there resting and communing with the Lord, I heard the door creak open and a little head bobbed in. It was a three-year old boy who hurriedly ran across the room and onto my lap. Shortly after, another toddler came waddling across and joined us. One after the other, all the little ones came and joined me in the room where I was. They asked for nothing just tried to mimic the way I was sitting and staring at nothing in particular. They would peek at me and then adjust themselves accordingly.
There we sat as the presence of the Lord permeated the room. The adults would come looking for their kids; open the door and then back out immediately, shutting the door behind them. When I saw that some of my ‘little companions’ were getting sleepy, I lay on the floor and indicating they do the same. The others joined us not too long after. There we lay, basking in the ‘peace that passes all understanding’ and dreaming away. When suddenly, I heard a shout, a wimper and a soon to be tussle (so much for a peaceful and quiet time, now all the tots were getting ready for a wailing concert). My four-year old boy ‘companion’ was tugging at another child, it was a three-year old girl with a suddenly soiled diaper. I tried so hard to pry his chubby little hand away as I consoled him and the terrified chick. “Her diaper stinks,” he cried in futile attempts to be the one to relieve her of her nasty burdens. I assured him I would handle it, as I lifted her and headed to the bathroom (and besides she would want her privacy…huh?). “Can I help?” he asked pertinently obviously showing signs of a soiled diaper too! He was not letting this young girl go. ‘Sure’ I said; ‘just hand me the wipes’… Boaz had found his ‘damsel in distress’ Ruth, and he would show her he was her kinsman diaper reedemer, in the purest form of the Bible story.
PS: If you do have a little one, focus on spending time with them. I know it does get busy with work and everything else, but if you manage to squeeze out ten extra minutes, give it back to the children. Once you have them, you are supposed to be dead to self and self promotion! Some helpless person is in the picture now and it is no longer about you (they deserve the attention and consideration). The time to mind other people’s business, stay abreast with where the action is or isn’t, or try to be updated on the latest gossip is over. And if you know someone like that for the sake of the little ones, do not subscribe to, or patronize their antics. That goes to show that ‘the people who waited’, were not as stupid and antichildren as they were perceived to be, they were saving their energy for ‘their very own responsibilities’ when they arrived (praise God!), they wanted things done right and to honor an Awesome and Worthy Savior!
“I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift…” Ecclesiastes 9:10-12