Alpine Summit

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Child-like Behavior

Those of you who listen to Ravi Zacharias are probably familiar with a poem he likes to recite in many of his podcasts. It's an untitled poem he refers to as "He came to my desk with a quivering lip." Listening to this poem I was reminded of Matthew 18: 2-4:

2He called a little child and had him stand among them. 3And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

Some view this scripture as reason to be closed to listening to anything non-biblical and to only believe the Bible and have faith in Christ simply because the Bible and Christ say to do so. I've always thought this was an ignorant because it's circular logic. I've never been able to articulate my own take on this verse adequately. This poem does a good job of illustrating it though.

He came to my desk with quivering lip--
The lesson was done.
"Dear Teacher I want a new leaf," he said,,
"I have spoiled this one."
I took the old leaf, stained and blotted,
And gave him a new one all unspotted,
And into his sad eyes smiled,
"Do better now, my child."
I went to the throne with a quivering soul--
The old year was done.
"Dear Father, hast Thou a new leaf for me?
I have spoiled this one."
He took the old leaf, stained and blotted,
And gave me a new one all unspotted,
And into my sad heart smiled,
"Do better now, My child."
-- Kathleen Wheeler

Being humble enough to say "I screwed up, please let me try again" takes a lot of character. As children, this is how we learn. We try, fail, and try again until we succeed. This is a great poem that illustrates what it means to be 'like children' in the kingdom of heaven.