I was recently at a wedding at our church. Beautiful, beautiful wedding. It started on time (what a pleasant surprise), the ceremony was wonderful and the food, yes, we all have attended a wedding or two just for the food. I could not have attended the cake cutting, but judging from the rest of the events, it also must have been phenomenal.
During lunch, I made a new friend; an 8-month old baby called Chiri. And I kid you not, that one hour we spent having fun, laughing, smiling and creating a new bond felt like a day spent in warm sunshine. He cant talk yet, but his toothless smile is simply captivating. And infectious. Not to forget the cute duck-face he kept on making; as long as you make it with him, he would gladly do it too. I tossed him, nuzzled him, spun him around and around, tickled and duck-faced with him, and then he finally fell asleep in my arms. I felt his small chest rising and falling calmly. His breath warm on my neck, his soft, curly hair tickling my cheek. (He had fallen asleep with his head on my shoulder.) I then returned him to his mother, since I had to leave for another attachment.
It got me thinking… he had all the reasons for me not to take him from his mother; a total stranger (to him), not even closely related to him, other than the fact that his mom and I attend the same fellowship. Summed up, when I reached for him, he should have screamed, yelled, raised a ruckus… generally wanting nothing to do with me.
He didn’t. He was still as I took him, and even as I danced around with him and played with him, he gave me that big, happy grin and let out an occasional bubble of laughter. I even gave him to my sister, and he was more than obliging to give her a duck-face as well. His innocence was startling. He looked at all his ‘admirers’ with such trusting eyes which said, “Let’s play!”, and when we were done tossing him around, he’d have the look of, ‘more, please,’ ,or bob his tiny head to the music playing in the background.
Jesus said in Luke 18:16-17, “…Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” (New King James Version) From my experience with very young children, I know they are innocent, accepting and yet have a heart that is almost pure, untainted by the ills of the world. Their trust is unwavering, even to total strangers. Sadly, most have this trust taken advantage of, and their innocence shattered.
Christ said that we should accept the kingdom of God as a little child. Maybe like Chiri, who said in his little head, “I may not know you, but I know we will have a great time together.” Not worried about what may happen if you do accept, but rather anticipating the joys that come with it. Full of trust that, yeah, I may be tossed about and spun around, but I’m in safe hands. I know I wont fall, cause He’s got me. Even managing a smile, and probably a duck-face, while being thrown up and down and round and round.
Who knew I’d learn so much from being with a baby for a duration of not more than an hour and a half. And in the process, see that the duck-face can have a whole new meaning.