Sunday, August 17, 2008

The Kingdom of Heaven Belongs To Such as These

They want my attention. Two little boys, soon to be three, clamoring and revelling in my affections. I sit on the trampoline. They run around me in circles, squealing in delight. One does a seat drop and looks quickly to me for approval. I wink. It is enough. He does it again and waits for my words of affirmation or a reassuring smile.

Then they frolic like puppies, tumbling, standing, wrapping arms around one another, giggling, and beginning again. I move back from the fray and open my book. A few minutes pass. They notice. It's not enough that I'm with them. They want my undivided attention.

One places chubby hands on either of my cheeks, his bright smile doesn't waver as he grasps my face. "Mom, I wuv you," he says. I'm smitten. Again I put my book down.
"I love you, too," I respond.

Soon we move from the trampoline and the day goes on. It doesn't matter where I go. They want to be near. Following and adoring.

Evening comes. Children gather round the campfire on the beach. They roast marshmellows, preparing for smores. Excited voices tell stories. Two pyjama-clad little boys on pint-size chairs, gaze adoringly at three older siblings and a neighbour girl from home. She adds a new delight to our week-end cottage get-away. Lanky husband stirs the coals with a stick. The sun is setting across the lake, it's red glow sits low on the horizon.

My husband looks over and nods towards the sun, I nod back. No words pass between us but we know it's time. He stands, "O.K. guys, time for bed."

A few tears fall, before two little boys yield reluctantly to Dad's gentle persistence. I turn my attention to the older ones, still needing affection from their parents. I listen, nod, and encourage all efforts of toasted marshmellows, tucking them between graham crackers and chocolate.

Husband returns. We talk and listen. The sun's pink has faded, darkness descends, waves lap gently on the shore. Little ones sense our distance. One cries out, the cry carries to the beach. I come to cuddle and softly soothe. "Are you scared?, I ask.

"Yah," he says as he plays with my hair. "Big scare me"

"It's o.k., Mama's here. I'll stay with you a while." I stroke his head. He holds my hand and smiles at me, the other cuddles close. I lie between both until they calm.

I understand. It's simple, really. Their joy is in my presence. They feel peace when I am near.

I think of our Heavenly Father. How He must delight with our affections, adoration, and worship. All day these two little guys have given me their affections. I have received the gift of their complete trust and love.

May I bestow such reckless abandon in my delight of my Heavenly Father's nearness.

I understand completely why Jesus says, "Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to me, for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19: 14 NASV


Belinda said...

I loved being at the cottage with you guys through your blog post. I just couldn't quite figure out how to reach the s'mores though. :)

Thank you so much for the story and the analogy. I loved it all.

Angcat said...

Me too, Joyful!
What she said.
I loved the story and the message within.
That's what it's all about right. Reveling in our relationship with God and with each other.
Everything else is dross, peripheral.

Joyful Fox said...

Thanks for your comments. I'm so much of a Martha, I need to learn to be like the twins and how to be more of a Mary.