Leigh Jones: Seeing as a child sees

NICK EICHER, HOST: Today is Tuesday, June 25th. Good morning! This is The World and Everything in It from listener-supported WORLD Radio. I’m Nick Eicher.

MARY REICHARD, HOST: And I’m Mary Reichard. WORLD Radio News Editor Leigh Jones now on a child’s perspective.

LEIGH JONES, COMMENTATOR: One of our regular driving routes takes us past an unusual display: a stone sculpture of a fat man sitting cross-legged. It rises out of an empty field.

A placid pool surrounds the statue, which must be at least two stories high. Four pillars mark the entrance in a majestic semi-circle.

It’s quite a sight. And impossible to miss.

I’ve watched it go up over the last few years and wondered when it would catch my 5-year-old’s attention.

It finally did last week, when she was in the car with my husband.

“Daddy,” she piped up suddenly from the back seat. “What is that?”

I probably would have launched into a long theology lesson. He simply said, “It’s an idol.” That seemed to satisfy her.

But a few days later we drove past it again. This time I was the only one with her. She was quiet as the giant Buddha shrank in the rearview mirror.

“What are you thinking about?” I asked.

“Nothing,” she said.

A few miles past the temple the open land turns into large lots of lush green lawn. Mini mansions sit at the end of long driveways. Wrought iron fences surround many of these islands of domestication.

My mind began to wander. What would it be like to live in one of those big houses? And what do their owners do for a living to afford that kind of mortgage payment?

“Mommy,” my daughter said, interrupting my covetous daydreaming. “We should tell these people about Jesus.”

“What do you mean?” I stammered in reply. I was too stunned to offer the words of spiritual wisdom that should have been at the tip of my tongue.

“All the people who live in these houses near the idol,” she said. “We should tell them about Jesus.”

There I was thinking about my neighbors’ earthly wealth, while my child was worrying over their spiritual poverty. Let’s just say I was properly chastised by the Holy Spirit.

During His earthly ministry Jesus used the children who gathered around him to teach his disciples an important lesson. All their grown-up knowledge wouldn’t help them draw near to their Heavenly Father.

Jesus said: “Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

I used to worry about how my daughter would respond when she discovered some people don’t believe in Jesus. I thought it might cause doubt. If other people don’t believe in Jesus, why should we?

Thankfully, such concerns don’t hinder her child-like faith. If people don’t know Jesus, we should tell them. If people would rather bow at the feet of a stone statue than worship the one true God, we should pray for them.

So that’s exactly what we did the next time we drove past the idol in the field.

For WORLD Radio, I’m Leigh Jones.

(Photo/Creative Commons)

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