We heard in the reading from Isaiah:
And a little child shall lead them. (Isaiah 11:6)
I love this phrase, which comes in the middle of a wonderful word picture of the coming of Christ. I love its prophetic meaning. But I think this phrase also speaks of another important truth:
We have a lot to learn from children.
They love God. They are willing to serve. They share everything. They act on their impulses, not caring if they should or shouldn’t. They didn’t withhold their touch. They say they’re sorry when they hurt somebody.
Children are very honest. They are aware of the wonders in the world and want to share it with everyone they meet. . . And they have never met a stranger!
According to Robert Fulghum in his book, All I Ever Needed To Know I Learned In Kindergarten, children are always looking. . . looking around in awe at the world. . . and holding hands.
And it is still true, no matter how old you are– when you go out into the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.
God puts children in a certain place at a certain time for a purpose, and they are determined to obey, no matter what.
Could the same be said for us grown-ups?
Are we willing to reach out and help someone . . .
put our arms around them when they are in pain. . .
cry or laugh with people we don’t know?
Think about it for a minute – – – what keeps us from having the innocence and love and warmth of a child?
Are you holding any grudges that keep you from touching others?
Are you too proud to reach out?
Are you blocking the healing hand of God with an attitude that says,
- “I won’t help that person because of how she looks … how she acts … how she treats me”?
Let us pray:
Powerful God, heal me of those hurts that keep me from serving you with a willing and open heart. Help me to be an instrument of your healing touch.
Delivered at In The Garden, Trinity Episcopal Church, Columbus, OH, 5 December 2010