Unless you change


by Paula Harrington

I love a new school year and getting to see old friends and learn new faces.

While on my first recess duty of the year with the Kindergarteners, one cute little blond walked up beside me, told me his name, and then sincerely said, “I love you.” I looked down into his sweet eyes and replied with the only adequate reply I could think of and told him that I loved him, too.

He skipped away and left me standing there recalling the words of Jesus in Matthew 18:3, “Unless you change and become like little children…”

Kids don’t have a problem loving others. They don’t tell those who care for them that they have to behave a certain way or follow a specific set of rules before they will love unconditionally. Children, even if broken and bruised by those they trust the most, offer genuine love.

Someone asked recently where I see God and I immediately thought of that sweet kid on the playground. I see God in the way children love. I see him in a true emotion that isn’t based on what I do or don’t do. I see him in a love that isn’t going to be jerked away if I fail. I see him in a bond that isn’t going to be broken just because I might be. I see him in a relationship that isn’t based on rules but an affection that was established long before I ever took my first breath.

I see God in a love I can’t even wrap my mind around because the one who set the universe in motion choose to enter that universe, not as a great and mighty warrior but as a tiny, helpless child.

Jesus looked at a group of adults who were struggling with sin, heartache, and a worldly view of religion and told them that they needed to be more like children. Unless you change and become:

  • Merciful
  • Trusting
  • Courageous
  • Joyful
  • Forgiving
  • Compassionate

It’s time to put away our fears and anxieties and love and trust without boundaries. God wants us to look at those around us, tell them our name, and then tell them that we love them, not for what they can do for us but because of what he did for them.

It’s time to shine a light into a dark and violent world. It’s time to love.

Don’t be afraid of change. It’s the only way we’ll enter the Kingdom of Heaven.

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