Now he’s in the front row. Now he’s in the aisle. Now he’s on his way out the door. Catch him quick.
Okay, he’s sitting again. Wait, well he was. Now he’s under the seats. Uh oh, he’s swinging and tugging on the wall hanging. Oops, I’m sure he did not mean to step on her toes, but he did.
Man I was exhausted just watching him. Vacation Bible School was his personal adventure land. Up. Down. In. Out. On. Over. Under. Around. Coming. Going. Among. Behind. Would there be one preposition he would miss? I didn’t think so. Like wind on the Kansas prairie, if it’s not coming, it’s going…it will either blow you over or suck you away. He was either one thing or another. He was never just there.
You know the type. His Mom suffers from MFD: Massive Fatigue Disorder. His teacher wants nothing more than to tap out SOS because of her SOS: Student Overload Syndrome. Dennis the Menace, the Beav, and Bart Simpson pale in comparison.
Adults ask, “What’s wrong with him?” They spit out, “Well, I never.” They recommend good counselors. They separate their children from him. They avoid eye contact with his parents.
Except one. She’s like Jesus. She smiles with him and at him. She reaches him as he’s running out the door, but her touch is soft and inviting. He cries and squirms, but she bounces him with delight…until he laughs. He makes noise and ignores the other children, but she lowers herself to look him in the eyes…until he listens. He makes demands and holds his breath, but she hugs him and whispers soft words past his frustration…until his tear stained cheeks rest upon her neck.
He is someone’s special child. He is God’s special child. He is someone’s problem. He is God’s purpose. He is at risk. He can be rescued. He may not stop moving, but he can learn to rest.
He was one of the children brought to Jesus only to be chased away by the followers of Jesus. He is one of the chidren who need to be brought to Jesus, but find themselves being chased away by the followers of Jesus.
He has been here since the days of Cain and Able. He was there at the feet of Jesus on the hillsides of Judea and the streets of Jerusalem. He is here reaching out and reaching up to Jesus in your family, your class, your school, your church, your neighborhood, your restaurant…and he continues to incur the wrath of the Lord’s followers far too often.
Hear then the word of God: “People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’ And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them” (Mark 10:13-16). Beautiful. Simply magnificent.
The Lord Jesus was indignant. He was offended for them, not by them. His frustration was not with them, but with so-called grown ups. This was youth advocacy at its best. It’s what we see in some who honestly care for the next generation. It’s what we should see in every man and woman…regardless of circumstances, situations, frustrations, or time and resource restraints. Thank the ones you know. Accept God’s “Well done,” if you are one of them. Become one of them, if you are not. And, if you choose the other path, please, please–at the very least–get out of the way.