Today as I sat in meditation, Matthew 18 came into my mind. Verse three says “Unless you change and become like a child, you shall not enter the kingdom of heaven”. When I think about our young ones blessing us at the end of our celebration service each Sunday, I see the beauty that is in the youthful wonder and joy of our children. I too desire the innocence, the purity, and the innocent life view of our young ones. How then might I, with the responsibilities and challenges that sometimes shows up in adulthood, become as a child?
How can I remain childlike when disasters, wars, famine, abuse, shootings, injustice, and the myriad of issues facing our world each day are right before my eyes? Even on days when I avoid the news of the world, the moment I plug in to check email or go to the grocery store, there it is right in front of me.
Yes, I do want to enter the kingdom of heaven. I want to be clear that for me, this isn’t a geographic place I go.The kingdom of heaven is the potential within me. The kingdom of heaven is Divine ideas being made known and being manifest within and through me. It is those moments of harmony with creation.
What if the idea of becoming like a child stirs harsh and unpleasant memories of our own childhood? What if our childhood wasn’t innocent but was a time of abuse, neglect, violence, or rejection? How do we become vulnerable enough to become like a child?
Perhaps we begin by healing the wounds of the child within us. Perhaps this verse in Matthew asks us to step into the healing love of God and to heal the wounds inflicted by humans who may be equally injured. Perhaps this is an invitation to allow the healing powers within us to rise and to know that “God is greater than our heart” (1 John 3:20). Whatever is in our heart, pain and suffering or joy and gladness, God is greater than that.
We look into the heart of the child within us and seek those wounds that wish to be healed. We practice paying attention to the feelings that rise in us and perhaps more importantly, we pay attention to what we do with those feelings. Do we spew them all over our world? Do we stuff them deep down? Do we pretend they don’t exist? Do we acknowledge them, thank them for all the wisdom they share with us and let them go?
We may tend to the wounds of the inner child with the same compassion and loving kindness we would show our best and dearest friend. We become willing to transform our thinking and our actions. We forgive all who need to be forgiven, never to say that the hurts imposed upon us are okay, rather to allow ourselves to move forward. Forgiveness is a gift we give ourselves for greater spiritual growth.
As we heal our inner child, we are better able to “become like a child and enter the kingdom of heaven”. We are better able to allow peace and harmony to fill the spaces where wounds once existed. Counselors, therapists, family and friends or our spiritual community may be helpful and supportive as we move from our adulthood to become like a child. We need not travel the journey alone.
Come as a child this Sunday and join the “Family Zumba Class” with Jody Solice. Jody works with our Youth & Family and in addition to her regular daytime work, she teaches Zumba! Enjoy light, healthy refreshments and Zumba after the 11:00 Celebration Service.
I do hope to see you Sunday because you know, it’s never the same without you!
Abundant blessings and much love