The Heart of a Child

Written on 07/09/2018
Luke Estrada


Matthew 19:14 

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”

I spent last night playing board games with some friends. I know that may sound like a very dated statement, but board games are coming back with a vengeance for my generation and we’re gobbling them up. I think it’s because you don’t have to be a grown up when you’re playing games, you don’t have to remember to save face, or consider ulterior motives. It’s a pure, simple kind of fun. I think we play these games because they remind us of what is was like to be kids, they remind us of what laughing is like when we have pure hearts.

Do you remember being pure of heart? We all were, and some of us still are, and that’s a huge blessing in and of itself. But we all seem to lose it, and the bigger mystery is why some people seem to be perpetually pure of heart, forever in touch with their inner child who never grew up. Did they never go through hardship? Do the walk around in naivete? I mean, they say ignorance is bliss right? We look down on the pure of heart as ignorant of what “real life” is like. We act like they couldn’t possibly have something to offer us.

But Jesus says that these are the people who will see God. And not just someday in heaven, but here and now today.

Being pure in heart doesn’t mean setting aside all your questions and doubts. I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid I had more questions than I’ve ever had since. I would wonder at the world and ask questions and try to learn more and more, not for any special reason, just because I wanted to learn. I used to go on adventures when I was young, around every corner was a dragon to slay. I wasn’t quite the muscly hunk I am today, and I was more ok with letting others help me. I used to cry a lot more when I was a kid too, and I knew exactly who to run to, my father’s arms.

Imagine loving God in that way. Imagine being loved in that way. When we pray for pure hearts, we pray for something new, but we also pray for the restoration of something we already had, something forgotten. If Jesus lets the children play around him, then I will be a child of God.

Take the words of Stevie Wonder as a challenge today:

With a child's heart
Go face the worries of the day
With a child's heart
Turn each problem into play
No need to worry no need to fear
Just being alive makes it all so very clear

With a child's heart
Nothing can ever get you down
With a child's heart
You've got no reason to frown
Love is as welcome
As a sunny sunny day
No grown-up thoughts
To lead our hearts astray

Take life easy, so easy nice and easy
Like a child so peacegul and so carefree
The whole world smiles with you
As you go your merry way
Oh with a child's heart
Nothing's gonna get me down