Saturday, March 13, 2010

from the mouth of babes

but when the chief priests and the teachers of the law saw the wonderful things he did and the children shouting in the temple area, 'Hosanna to the Son of David,' they were indignant. "do you hear what these children are saying?" they asked him. "yes," replied Jesus, "have you never read, 'out of the mouths of children and infants you have ordained praise?'"
~matt. 21:15-16

kids never cease to surprise me. this past sunday, my faith was challenged by two kiddos in a way that can only be said, heard, and felt from the mouths of babes.

lesson 1:
"who is satan?" mmm, gotta love those deep theological questions from first graders. you have to love the innocence with which this question was asked. sometimes you just try to brush these questions off, move on with the lesson at hand. but it seems that every kid in the room that day had an answer to that one. not to mention, this young lady was per-sis-tant. so finally, i attempted an answer, to which only more questions kept coming. "is he here? is he a snake? why is he bad? why can't God just make him do what He wants?" wowzers.

what a moment. i wish i could truly convey the facial expressions of this sweet child of God as i attempted explanations to her questions. i saw the sadness on her face, the true and deep realization that satan and sin is indeed in our world. but oh! then i saw such hope and joy! to see her face relax, to witness her changing thoughts visibly on her face as she was affirmed that God, too, is present and greater, that He reigns! to see the peace painted on her face...that is the faith that moves mountains.

lesson 2:
later in our lesson, i was talking with the kids about things that are difficult and hard for us to do, like how it was hard for Elijah to go talk to King Ahab. i was trying to think of examples on the fly that the kids could relate to, and was failing pretty miserably. all that came to mind was me pretending that my roommate hadn't cleaned up her toys at home(aka-dishes) and how that can be hard to not get upset or mad. the same girl from earlier quips up and says, "why doesn't she just clean them up? well, you can just pick up her toys cause maybe if you do something nice to her, she will do something nice for you."
this girl is a world-changing-theologian in the making, you mark my words.

lesson 3:
was hanging out in my neighborhood with some of the kids when one of them asked me if i had gone to church that day. i said i had, and we talked briefly about it. then he suddenly asks, "have you met Jesus?" you know, just as if it was a casual, everyday question. here's how this convo went:

awesome kid: have you met Jesus?
me: um, yes. i have! have you?
him: yea, me too. have you talked to Jesus?
me: well...yea, i have. i did today actually.
him: yea, me too. what did he say? that one stumped me for a lil bit. fortunately, my friend continued to talk in the silence of my delayed response. he told me how he was in his room one day and heard someone call his name. he thought it was his dad, so he went and found him and asked him if he called. his dad replied that he hadn't called him--it must have been Jesus.

now, this could just be his dad playing a joke on his son; knowing his family, i don't think this is the case. but i mean, c'mon--how POWERFUL is that?!? all Jesus had to do was call his name?!? that's all he needed to hear to know that Jesus is alive and present in his life?!? all it takes to trust and believe is to hear Jesus call him once by name...

it was even more ironic and striking to me because during my prayer time just before this i had been purposely trying to just listen to God, to not fill in all the space with my thoughts and requests. but honestly, well, i didn't really know what or if he had said anything to me. and then here my 4th grade friend comes along, explaining how simple it all was. God has called me by name. He continues to call my name each day, if i only i will listen.

i think i'm only just beginning to grasp what it must have been like to hear all those children shouting "Hosanna to the son of David!" such simple yet exceedingly wise words from the mouths of those with a truly powerful, bold, and stirring faith. puts a whole new meaning on having the heart of a child of God.