I recently had the opportunity to visit some wonderful people over the memorial day weekend. The family I stayed with have several children. This family was a true joy to be around, including their two year old daughter. In addition to being an adorable two year old, I strongly sensed the Lord speaking to my heart through the way she lived her life. Yes, that’s right. You can learn a lot from the life of a two year old.
I’m not a baseball fan, so I had no idea who Bernie Brewer was. Apparently, Bernie Brewer is the mascot for the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team. I learned this through the life of an adorable two year old who introduced me to him. Some children like to carry around security blankets, others carry around baby dolls or stuffed animals. This precious two year old, however, likes to haul around a two and a half foot tall plastic lawn ornament of Bernie Brewer.
As you can see from the picture, Bernie Brewer is not your average doll baby. Nor is he your average mascot either. He’s actually constructed around the image of a sixty nine year old man! He’s got a handle bar mustache and all! It was quite comical to see this adorable child tote this little old man around as her ‘baby’ all weekend. She carried him around the house, took him outside with her to play, and cuddled with him for naps. Many stories were shared of the times she would put diapers and dresses on Bernie as well. Bernie was her favorite. To us adults, this seemed quite bizarre. To this little child, however, it was completely normal. I knew that what I was witnessing was no accident. I sensed the Lord causing me to press into this picture He was providing.
Right now, this child isn’t aware that having an old man like Bernie Brewer as a doll baby isn’t socially acceptable. She’s still too childlike. In her eyes, she delights in him with a childlike innocence and joy. She can’t see anything else. I imagine when she’s older, she’ll catch on that this kind of thing isn’t normal. Girls don’t usually have old men doll babies. When she does realize this, she’ll probably stop playing with Bernie Brewer. The thought actually makes me a bit sad.
Like I mentioned earlier, you can learn a lot from a child. This is especially true for those of us who have been awakened to the kingdom of God. Only the ones with childlike eyes can see into this new realm. If there is one thing that keeps us from seeing into the kingdom of God on a day by day basis, it’s adulthood. Adulthood is the great wall builder keeping us from truly knowing one another. The bricks and mortar of these hideous walls are made out of human / religious wisdom. In the name of maturity, they introduce fear and shame into that which childlike eyes delight in.
This is nothing new. Two thousand years ago, in the midst of a very religious society, Jesus asked that the children would not be prevented from coming to him because children are a picture of all of us. In the kingdom of God, He is bringing us back to childhood; before fear, heartache, and human / religious wisdom came in to erect walls. Ultimately, these walls keep us from one another relationally. As a result, these walls keep us from Christ Himself as we are His dwelling place.
Jesus is protective of childlike hearts. Very protective. He despises the fear that takes us away from childlike delight in one another. He despises that which comes in to cause the love of those with childlike innocence to grow cold. It makes Him quite angry. Can you hear the anger in this statement?
“And whoever receives one such child in My name receives Me; but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea”. -Matthew 18:5-6
Wow, what passion in that statement! I can hear His heart perfectly. Love is the currency in the kingdom of God. Everything hangs on love. Without love, all we have is meaningless ideas, law, and religious striving. He is zealous to protect our hearts and keep our childlike love alive and well.
Brothers and sisters, I have beautiful news. He is in the process of making us like this adorable two year old I had the privilege of meeting over memorial day weekend. He is giving us eyes to truly see, and the implications for the kingdom are profound.