“Suffer (allow) the little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven” (KJV Matt. 19:14).
Little children. Innocence. Nonjudgmental love. Delight and awe in discovery. Are they naive? Limited? Jesus said the kingdom of heaven is made up of these qualities, and more. I remember my childhood. Allow the little children.
In southeast Missouri, known as the Bootheel, a mostly southern mentality prevailed. My grandparents lived in a little town with a population of 500. I remember one visit. After a five hour drive from St. Louis, my dad pulled into one of the two gas stations in the area. No car air conditioning, a Missouri midsummer night, barely able to make out the station pumps before closing time, and the interior lights struggling through the thick, dusty air just enough to show the way to the door. We went inside for a cold soda.
At five years old, I could read fairly well, thanks to my mom and dad both, but especially dad. He had me sit on his lap for a few minutes every day when he came home from work and read the newspaper. He would show me words and help me make sense of them, phonics and sight words. I really could read somewhat, so when we went inside, I read two signs, one spanning the drinking fountain and bathrooms and the other on the wall over the chest-type soda machine, both of which said the same thing: Whites ONLY. I asked what that meant, rather loudly. Allow the little children.
Mom shushed me to speak lower. Dad appeared uncomfortable and tried to explain what was, in the face of a child who didn’t understand bigotry and hatred, inexplicable and inexcusable. Thankfully, he said it was wrong. This was before the 1964 Civil Rights Act and only five years after Brown v. Topeka Board of Education. I was confused. Allow the little children.
Yes, allow the little children to come and know the power of the infinite, deep wells of life within them and to experience their own spirituality. Why? It is because the qualities they possess make up the kingdom of heaven, which I’m viewing here as a societal structure, a government, a method for human beings to live and relate to one another as mortals containing Spirit within them.
We all have Spirit within us, which I call Heart, as well as Ego. I view both as energy operating systems, ways to process life. Ego functions as it should in little children. As they grow a bit, they begin choosing heart with which to act, react, and interact with our environment.
Adults, however, quickly bring in ego concerns — a variety of expressions, one of which is seen in the disciples’ response to forbid the little children to come to Jesus. I suppose they thought he was too important, more pressing matters, not practical — and possibly a dozen more ego concerns. The same sort of reasoning and ego motivations apply to signs like “Whites Only” or segregated schools. Little children don’t understand those things. They just share their water fountains, sodas, and toilets and go to school together, play together, grow together. Simplicity. Love. Allow the little children.
This biblical account shows leaders and organizers of society should exercise heart energy, in general. Yes, spiritual concerns should be the driving motivators of government.
Why is the United States in this current mess? Ego energy has driven us to the brink of losing one of the most amazing governments and societies ever known on this planet, and politicians of all parties have increasingly indulged ego and exalted ego goals as models. I believe when policies and legislation are considered, the formative question should be this: What would a child do? Allow the little children.
I am thankful in one, and probably only one way, that Trump is president: he and his administration have illustrated the basic human condition of living ego over heart. They illustrate every single day how ego works, and while I cannot always assess individuals, I can evaluate trends being characterized by ego or heart energy.
When an administration or a political party establishes laws and policies that destroy the environment, diminishes the value or worth of those not like themselves, or promotes divisions among races, ethnicities, and other nations, then I see the heart energy of a child has not been used. That is a serious mistake, an egoic one. Children — those who have not been corrupted by ego forces of adults — observe Nature in awe, light up when they see other babies, and readily accept others. Allow the little children.
The current Republican Party proposals and efforts focus on the economy, maintaining power, being better than everyone else, and gaining unchecked control. I know most ego-fueled folks can’t see beyond their bank accounts, the power, superiority, and control. That is a serious mistake for a nation, an egoic one. Allow the little children.
Make no mistake, please. I am not advocating for a christian government, at all, nor any religion-based one. I am, however, offering my plea and belief in the infinite power each of us has to create and live in a heart-moderated society and nation. The basic tenets of “certain unalienable rights” being “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness” and to “promote the general welfare” are heart-energized founding principles. To depart into an overriding ego-soaked society will eradicate this expression of democracy. Humanity trumps wealth, power, control, and superiority. Allow the little children.
One last memory here. In that same little Bootheel town in southeastern Missouri, my mom, sister, and I were walking along the business section of the main street. Two black men were approaching us, and when we drew close to them, they stepped off into the gutter and tipped their hats at us. I didn’t understand because I had never seen anyone else do that. Mom said that’s what they did to show respect because polite black people did that.
It disturbed my young self, and I didn’t know why. I asked her why, again. I don’t remember an answer. I remember the icky feeling I had. Allow the little children.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said this: “We need leaders not in love with money but in love with justice. Not in love with publicity but in love with humanity” (King, https://kinginstitute.stanford.edu/king-papers/documents/birth-new-age-address-delivered-11-august-1956-fiftieth-anniversary-alpha-phi).
Allow the little children.
Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!