Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Little Children...

I feel heavy lately.  So much going on.  So much hurt and loss and pain.  So much grief still weighing down on my soul that any other little thing that falls on it threatens to drag it down to the pit.  It's a tough world out there.

I was gone the bulk of the day yesterday and did not see the tragic events in Oklahoma unfold on television.  This morning, as I sipped my coffee, it all came down on me.  Tornados can be measured on a scale for earthly and physical damage, but the toll it takes on the people in that small town cannot be quantified.  The parents who have lost their child.  The teachers who shielded the lives of their students.  The children who lived through the terrifying experience.  The responders who are still hard at work in hopes of recovering all of those who are missing.  The lives of all these people will never be the same.

I turned on my Kindle this morning to do my chronological reading of the New Testament.  I haven't been reading much of my Bible lately.  I haven't read much in the copy of Jesus Calling that my sweet mama gave me.  I haven't been tapping into anything spiritually edifying.  Truth is, I just feel numb.  I don't feel much of anything at all.  I am settling into a life without my mother, and it still hurts too much, and I just don't want to feel any of it.  And then I see the pain unfolding on the morning news, the faces of those just beginning their own grief, and I hear that whisper... Keep looking for Me.  I am here.

This is what I read this morning:
People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on 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.  Truly I tell you, 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, placed his hands on them and blessed them.  {Mark 10:13-16}

My mind immediately went to a Bible I had when I was little.  On the front or somewhere in it was a picture of Jesus with a herd of children at His feet.  Of course, it was some mainstream caucasian Jesus with a rainbow of ethnicity around Him.  But that's not how I pictured it this morning.  I pictured a more realistic Jesus, skin weathered by the sun, long unkept hair, holes still in his hands, and children all around Him, bloodied and battered by that storm.  They were closest to Him, but I was there, too, battered by the difficulties of this world.  Resigning myself of ever trying to make any sense of this place we live in, of its losses and hurts, of its imperfections.  Still clinging on to His love for me, though it makes no sense either.  Still believing that there is Hope in Him, that He one day will take us all into His arms and bless us just as He did those children in the Scripture above.

You see, children so blindly believe most anything.  They don't need all the reasons and proof and science and fact that adults need.  They accept love and forgiveness with ease.  They let go of mistakes and hurt in an instant.  They live unbridled by pride and self righteousness.  And that's how we should be.  It's much harder to live that way when the weight of the earth bears down on us year after year.

Jesus opened his arms to a host of souls yesterday in that tornado, the number of which is still unknown.  Many we know were children.  It's the same Jesus that opened His arms up for my mother in April, 2012.  It's the same Jesus that will open His arms for me one day and for you reading my words right now.  He is the same yesterday, today, forever.  So whatever your burden may be today, take it to His feet.  Give your tears to Him.  Tell Him about it.  He waits with open arms adequate to carry the load of what you may be carrying in your heart.

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