And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 18:3 (NIV)
Just after the holidays, I had to go to the airport to pick someone up. They were flying in from an international trip. Not sure if you’ve ever had to wait outside customs for someone coming into the US but it usually takes a while.
The place wasn’t very full which is understandable with COVID. There is less air travel so fewer people waiting to pick someone up. I sat for a minute. Then I got up and stood by the railing. As I was standing there, I was watching people, looking at my phone, and trying to not be bored. The time to get through customs varies. Sometimes it is really fast and sometimes it can take an hour or more. You have to show up wearing your patience.
As I was looking at my phone, I heard a high pitched squeal. I looked up to see a young girl running to someone and jumping on them. She was so delighted. You couldn’t help but smile. A short time later, I heard another squeal and again a young girl ran around the banisters shouting “Papi! Papi!” as she jumped into his arms.
The excitement and delight in their squeals of joy were contagious. It made me wonder why we don’t do more of that. When we see someone we love, do they know we are super excited to see them? When we greet a friend can they see the joy in our eyes letting them know we are happy to be together? When we live together as families when a family member walks into the house, do we stop what we are doing to go greet them? I bet all of this happens less than it should.
As I stood there and pondered this, I remembered that Jesus said that we should be like little children. They are so delighted with the small things and everything is special. I wondered why I don’t do this more.
I seriously contemplated jumping up and down and squealing when the two young men I was picking up came into the waiting area. Then I remember that they are 15 and I think they would be so embarrassed the effort would have backfired. I did walk up and hug them and tell them I was glad they were home.
During this time of COVID, we don’t see each other enough and when we do go out, we see each other behind masks. But guess what? When you are truly smiling, your eyes smile too. Maybe we could also make it a point to smile with our eyes at everyone we meet. We all need extra love right now. Let’s love like little children.