Like a Little Child
Christians usually have a favorite Bible verse or two and one of mine is Jesus speaking to a crowd. He called a toddler to him and said “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” He said we will never enter until we change, until we turn around. That’s a very strong statement. But change in what way? Change and become like little children.
Obviously, this is not literal, every word in the Bible is not literally “true.” He doesn’t mean to shrink to thirty inches, forget how to use the potty, and slop lunch down your shirt front. He’s talking about status-seeking, something with which many adults (and many listening to him then) are consumed yet toddlers ignore; seeking money, position and power as a top priority. Jesus said you have to turn from that priority to a new priority or you can’t enter the kingdom of heaven. Sure, you should take care of yourself on this earthly dimension, but earthly is not the only dimension. In another place, Jesus said, You are in the world, but you are not of the world.
During the Covid lock down, I’ve been hanging a painting of the month in our lobby to perhaps cheer people up. This one has cheered people up. It’s a large acrylic, “Like a Little Child” and depicts two toddlers walking out of the darkness toward the light of a rising sun. On one level it’s two little kids walking in a field. On another level, it’s us, as little children, turning our back to the world system and going to God.
We are all fascinatingly unique, with our own preferences and interpretations. We all see something slightly different in art works. And that’s as it should be.