It’s Saturday night, and I am engulfed on social media following the protests, riots, and looting that have erupted across the country. I am tracking tweets as intensely as a stock broker follows the market. I am prayful, anxious, angry and filled with wonder and questions. As these contradicting thoughts and emotions crash over, I hear a sound from the window behind me.
It was a familiar sound, but it stilled me as if it was something new. I turned around and saw a little boy running around a tree in the courtyard as he filled the air with laughter. I just stared and listened for a brief moment because I felt in my heart that God wanted me to recognize a simple yet fundamental truth because the atmosphere within me was quickly going in the wrong direction.
Jesus taught that we must have child-lik faith. There is a difference between child-like and childish. Child-like are those ageless and endearing attributes of a child’s nature that we must maintain throughout life: trusting, quick and ready to forgive, tenderhearted, loving, happy, and easily able to experience joy and peace regardless of the circumstances. Childish is immature and irresponsible behavior from someone who isn’t a child. I make this distinction because us adults can believe that child-like qualities are beneahth us and that belief ages the soul in a way that God never intended – it truly makes a person ugly on the inside.
The little boy’s laughter on that Saturday nighht wasn’t my escape from reality, but it was God telling me to trust Him with child-like faith in the midst of reality. It is a terrible existence when the darkness in our world just controls our thoughts and our words. We become part of the problem instead of the solution. It is those child-like attributes that keep us from taking this wrong turn even though we are fully aware of the world around us.
God knew that what was happening on that Saturday night would set the tone for the coming months, and He, as Jesus did for His disciples in the Gospels, showed me the heart of a child so that I would keep allowing light to shine into my heart even if it is surrounded by chaos.