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Friday, June 30, 2006
Faith Like a Child
..."I'm telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you're not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God's kingdom. What's more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it's the same as receiving me".
"But if you give them a hard time, bullying or taking advantage of their simple trust, you'll soon wish you hadn't......Doom to the world for giving these God-believing children a hard time! Hard times are inevitable, but you don't have to make it worse--and it's doomsday to you if you do. Matthew 18 (The Message Bible)

Recently I have been on this new journey. When my "spiritual" world was turned upside down earlier this year, and a whole exciting world opened up, I felt like I couldn't get enough! I dived into, I want to "know" as much as possible thinking...I guess I fell into the "I want to do/be right in this journey". Those thoughts came from a background where "you have to know the Word", "baby vs. mature Christian", etc. are common phrases thown out constantly. So I began the dive, the more I got in, the more overwhelmed I got! I loved it, but each new idea made me think of 10+ others I wanted to look into! I felt the pressure (self inflicted I think!) that if asked about what my "newer" thinking was, would I be able to "defend" it. After a cool time at a Prayer Labyrinth (something I had never used before) I began to sense God like no other time in my life! What I felt was "open your heart and be child like, there isn't a 'Right' way to journey with me".
Since that time, being child-like has shown up in readings...the Bible, books I am reading, conversation, etc....
I read the previous passage from Matthew 18 this morning, and there it was again. I think for where I am at, it speaks to me in a couple of ways. The first is for my journey! I have had to try to be childlike again! When I am childlike I am more receptive, open to others, more willing to follow. Sometimes being childlike doesn't always have the best results, but it's usually more sincere. When I am not childlike, I am more dependent on "my understanding", need God less, am more arrogant, uncompassionate, etc. One of the other ways that this passage speaks to me, is is how I relate to others in their journey. I think too often "Christian culture" can be very judgemental, critical, non-compassionate, not loving, etc. "We" get into our heads, where "we" think others "should" be at. We don't allow for where they are at in there journey, or what God may be doing in there life. If we don't handle our relationships with care, we could and do "make things worse". I know and was one, who ran the opposite direction from God. Not because of God, but because of the people reflecting God to me (which in many ways, I think now was not God at all). This really makes me hurt for those that have rejected spirituality and God, because of the humans that are supposed to be " God's Image".
This passage inspires and comforts me, though. I lets me pursue God with an open, childlike heart. I don't need "all the answers", that is not the point. I can accept this as an everlasting journey where, hopefully, I will have to keep coming back to a childlike state to grow and be led by God. Only God knows my heart. It also allows me to love, accept, be compassionate, and gracious with "all of God's people". Again, because only God knows where their heart is.
Just some thoughts. If you get something else out of this, or want to share, I would love to hear your comments.

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posted by Unknown at 3:04 PM ¤ Permalink ¤


4 Comments:


  • At 7/02/2006 07:12:00 PM, Blogger From the Margins

    Hi Michele ... Your story is wonderful. From the words you've shared, I hear and see a renewed appreciation for God's grace which cannot be separated from his unbending love.

    I also heard you expressing a fresh understanding of all people's inestimable worth and unique potential to be or be becoming God's children.

    I'll look forward to those other 10+ things you are eager to explore in Him!

    Thanks for taking the risk to share this 'newness' of faith with all of us.

     
  • At 7/02/2006 09:52:00 PM, Blogger Michele L

    Thanks for your comments! This "new world" for me has been such a blessing, sometimes I feel like I am just going to bubble over! It's nice to have a place I feel I can share!

     
  • At 7/09/2006 12:13:00 AM, Blogger sylvia skinner

    I have enjoyed Michelle's "bubbling over" first hand. She probably doesn't really know it, but it's one of the very few things that help me keep my toe in the water, so to speak--I've felt ready to bolt for a while. Thanks, Michelle, for sharing your thoughts and for doing so through the eyes of a childlike heart!

     
  • At 7/09/2006 06:24:00 PM, Blogger Michele L

    Thanks Sylvia! So much of my newness of Faith has been in part to yourself and Kevin, and God working through you. Your ears, kindness, acceptance, and patience has meant a lot. Even in the rough times you have been there for others. I know that has been hard to do, and I appreciate it.

     

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