I did something that I haven’t done in a looooong time. I read a kid’s novel. It’s called Treasure in an Oatmeal Box and it’s written by one of my favorite authors, Ken Gire. This is one of the authors God brought into my life when I was rebounding from severe burnout years ago. His gentle writings and ability to see the beauty of God in Scripture and life helped forge the new foundation my life now rests upon. I find it very interesting that a spiritual writer also writes children’s stories. Perhaps there is a lot of similarity between the two.
“Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”
I read this book because after eighteen months of finishing my Master’s degree, I wanted to escape the realm of theory, to remind myself there are other aspects to life in God’s kingdom than discussions of globalization, or parsing words in a foreign language, or navigating through the minute nuances of Pauline theology.
This book allowed me to view life once again from the eyes of a ten year old. It reminded me that joys and disappointments, beauty and ugliness, life and death all form the fabric of our lives. It reminded me that if I can’t see life as a child, I really have no right to attempt understanding life from an adult perspective.
I’ll be honest, as I read this sad story of Kevin, a young developmentally disabled boy, I cried. I cried because of the beautiful way he saw God and life. I cried because of his compassion despite the unfairness dealt to him. I cried because of the way he touched the hearts of people around him. I cried because it reminded me of real suffering and unfairness and loss in the people around me. Then I realized that I never cried while reading a textbook.
Life from a child’s eyes keeps us rooted in reality. And the questions they ask are profound. I so often hear people say, “When I get to heaven, I’m going to ask God about…” I suspect when we get to heaven, the kids get first dibs with God. And I think as we listen to their heartfelt questions, ours will melt away and we will cry and we will worship.