Sometime ago a new family started attending our church. They have three children, including a little girl named Rachel.
One Sunday, after church, her mother told me that during church Rachel was calling out to me, but instead of calling my name, she was saying, “Jesus.”
This family has been attending the traditional service where I wear a white alb (robe) and my deacon stole which goes across the chest. In Rachel’s picture Bible, there is a picture of Jesus dressed in a white robe with a stole going across his chest (similar to the picture to the left). When Rachel first saw me in church dressed in my alb and stole, it was a reminder to her of Jesus in her picture Bible.
Recently we had a Parents Night Out event at the church and Rachel was there. At the end of the evening I was telling her parents about a cute moment when we were playing a game with a pumpkin. Her mom suddenly had one of those light-bulb moments. Rachel had told her something that now made sense. When mom asked Rachel if she had a good time, Rachel said, with a big smile, “I gave Jesus the pumpkin.” Mom asked, “Did he like it?” Rachel answered, “He loved it!” Mom at first thought it was a coloring sheet or some activity we did. But after hearing my story, it clicked that Rachel gave me the pumpkin (which she had done at the end of the game).
It was so cute and adorable, I was laughing with joy at the moment. As Rachel was running around before they left the church, she kept saying, “Thank you, Jesus.” What a moment!
Here’s the thing. I had had a rough couple of weeks. You know the kind. When Monday jerks you out of bed, and you are already exhausted by what the week holds for you. Each day left me more drained than the day before it.
In a time when I felt drained, a little child was dancing around singing, “Thank you, Jesus!” In a time when I felt distinct from the holy, a little child saw the holy in me. At a time when I felt overwhelmed by the responsibilities of following my call, a little child with her smile and laughter, reminded me why I’m called.
The scripture says:
“People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’ And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them.” (Mark 10:13-16, NIV)
So often we get caught up in going through the motions of work, life, and yes, even our faith, that we forget the see God in the tiny moments. We have our blinders set so that we only see what is right in front us, in order to accomplish the task at hand, that we miss the Creator. Yet, the littlest among us can remind us of the Holy.
And it is the littlest among, sometimes, who remind us why we say, “Thank you, Jesus.”