Like a Child

Matthew 18:4 "Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (NRSV)

Jim Harris, from Virginia, has a wonderful story to share about a child. A pastor friend of his was recruiting volunteers to portray biblical characters at her district's confirmation retreat. Knowing that Jim enjoyed portraying biblical characters, she asked him to play Bartimaeus, the blind beggar who called out to get Jesus' attention. As the children rotated through several Bible scenes in groups of four or five, Jim sat cross-legged, with his eyes closed tight, calling out, "Jesus, have mercy on me!" With each group, the teacher would read the story from the Bible, and then the group would move on to the next scene. To Jim's surprise, after one group moved on, one child turned back. Jim was about to open his eyes when he heard her footsteps and felt her small hands on his head. "Jesus loves you," she said, "and he has given you back your sight!"

Jim was deeply touched that this child had not been content to leave the blind beggar alone and still wanting to meet Jesus. Jim wondered, "How often have I avoided reaching out to a hurting person? When Could I have shared words of hope with someone in need?" This child's faith inspired Jim to take the time to talk with others about Jesus' love.

I hope this story touched your hearts and will make us all more aware of times when we can reach out to those around us who are hurting with words of love and encouragement.

Prayer: God of love and mercy, help us to have the faith of children, and may we live out that faith in how we interact with others, in Jesus' name, amen.

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