Saturday, June 19, 2010

Matthew 19:13-15

"Go ahead son," my mother says to me. "He's just over there."

I take tentative steps toward the crowd of milling children and adults. The noise is deafening. Loud voices rise above the clamor rebuking and driving people away. My feet stop moving and seem to take root in the ground below them. The yelling men sound angry and angry men are scary for one as young and small as me. I can go no closer to those men, but neither can I go back.

The crowd parts and I see him. He raises a hand and with just that simple gesture silences the crowd and the scary men. He looks at me then, his eyes bright and warm and rich. Holding my gaze he says, "Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these."

As he finishes he reaches out a hand toward me and I find my feet unfettered and free, the ground streaking past beneath my running feet. I launch myself at him and he catches me in strong arms, swinging me around and laughing. His laughter is warm and fresh, still young like newly grown grass. It is not at all like the laughter I normally hear from adults. Like my feet, it is unfettered and free.

We finish our spin and I rest my head on his shoulder. His head tilts toward mine and his beard tickles my chin. I turn a little and rub my face against his garments.

With his left hand still holding me tight, he rests his right hand upon my head and speaks simple words over me. Words of blessing sink into my heart where they begin to take root--speaking the truth of my heart and calling me to surrender to perfect love.

He squats down until my feet rest once more on the dry and dusty earth. I pull back enough to see his face, eyes squinting with the breadth of his smile. Strong hands hold the sides of my face and he plants a bushy-bearded kiss on my forehead.

Eyes and face still smiling he lets go and points back through the crowd to where my mother waits. I give him one last hug and softly whisper, "Thank you," before I make room for the next child waiting to receive his love and blessing.

As I rejoin my mother I smile because I feel his blessing taking hold. More so, I still feel his bushy kiss upon my brow, and hope somehow I always will.

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