Matthew 21:16 …And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’? ” (NKJV)
There is a little boy at our church who continues to teach me spiritual lessons although he couldn’t even tell you what “spiritual lesson” means. I’m not sure how old he is, maybe six or seven. I don’t want to use his real name, so let’s call him Sam.
Sam is blind and uses a guide stick to get around which will be relevant later in this story. In the past couple of months I have been humbled by this vibrant little fellow and his zest for life and the Lord.
A few weeks ago on a Sunday we were singing a reverent, serious, slow tempo song in our morning worship. Our seating is angled in a type of semi-circle that allowed me to look across the auditorium to see Sam sitting next to the aisle a couple of rows from the front.
All during that reverent, serious song, Sam just clapped away and sang his heart out. He was the only person in the entire auditorium clapping, and not exactly in time to the rhythm of the song. It was interesting to notice the reactions of different people. Many folks were smiling in admiration and a few even had tears in their eyes watching this unashamed and I’m-unaware-that-anyone-is-looking-at-me expression of worship from a child who hadn’t “learned” yet that you’re not supposed to clap at the wrong time in church.
It appeared to make a few people uneasy, and sadly, one or two appeared to have a “why-don’t-you-make-him-stop” expression (although I obviously have no way of knowing what they were actually thinking).
At that moment I realized with incredible clarity just how influenced I am by what others think about me and how carefully I subconsciously avoid doing anything that would make me look “funny” or might “embarrass” me. Don’t get me wrong, I know there is appropriate self-control to consider, and that all things should be done “decently and in order” (1 Cor 14.40). This isn’t a commentary about church worship. It’s a commentary about undistracted focus on the Lord.
It was a sobering lesson for me to see Sam worshipping the Lord totally oblivious to what anyone thought of it. He wasn’t even aware of other people’s observations or opinions.
Sam’s physical blindness allowed
him to have true spiritual sight.
How many times does our physical
sight cause us spiritual blindness?
“Unless you become like one of these children…” I learned from a blind child the true heart of worship and Christian liberty because he had not yet been spoiled by peer pressure, embarrassment or expectation; nor was he distracted from his Savior as he sung his little heart out to the Lord.
Sam is very loving and outgoing little boy. He routinely makes his way around to some of the adult men before church starts to say hello. Using his guide cane he gets around really well and doesn’t hesitate to ask for help from anyone who may be standing near. It is a picture of unspoiled trust in other people.
I walked up behind him in the hallway making his way to his Sunday school class. The difference this time was that no adult or older child was walking with him to show him the way. Towards the end of the hallway he paused, and I could tell that he was trying to get his bearings as he tapped his cane around to see where he was.
I said “Sam, where you heading? Do you need some help?” He said “Which way is the stairwell?” I told him it was just ahead, gave him a little turn in the right direction and walked with him to the first step. I got a little concerned at that point because it was obvious no one was helping him negotiate two flights of stairs, and then the second floor hallways to his Sunday school class.
“Sam, is anyone with you? Do you need me to help you get to class”. His reply immediately brought tears to my eyes and made me realize how whiney, faithless and complicated we can be as adults.
“Nope, don’t need any help” he said, “This is my first day to go to class alone. Don’t need a parent to help. I gotta grow up some time”. And off he went up the stairs tapping away one step at a time.
1 Corinthians 3:1-2 And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; (NKJV)
“I gotta grow up some time.”
It’s amazing how uncomplicated the truth really is some time. Sam had a difficult task to learn, and it was time to learn. He didn’t whine or complain or procrastinate or stay satisfied with the easier solution of having someone help him. It was time to step up and GROW and that’s what he was doing. If only we could see things with such clarity.
Ephesians 4:14-15 that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— (NKJV)
What areas of your Christian walk should be alot more “grown up” than they are? Are you growing up in Christ or still waiting around for an “adult” to help you?
Sam unknowingly taught me two invaluable lessons: keep my eyes on the Lord and not on other people… and just do what you have to do when its time to grow up. No excuses, no whining, just grow up.
Heavenly Father, help us to see only You, to worship and serve You as if no one is looking at us. Give us the simple courage to just do whatever it takes when it is time to grow up. In Jesus Name, amen.
Contemplation: How much more witnessing would you do or worship would you express if you weren’t worried about how people viewed you? What do you think would change in your spiritual life if you were “blind” to everything except the Lord Jesus? What areas of your Christian life are not as grown up as they should? Are you growing up “in all things” in Christ “who is the Head”?
Application: The Lord of course was so right when He said we need to become like little children. They see things with such clarity and uncomplicated simplicity some times. Serve the Lord as if people aren’t watching, and just do what you have to do to grow up in your faith. Don’t complicate it.
- What is the most obvious Bible truth you have learned today?
- What change in your life needs to be made concerning this truth?
- What specific thing will you do today to begin that change?