I watched this morning, as I do every morning, my second grader run down the driveway to the corner to await the bus. One neighbor boy was already there, and his mother and sister were not far behind. As they approached, the little girl squeeled “Maaaarrrryyy!!!!” as she darted up to hug her. Mary opened her arms wide and embraced the little girl with a genuine hug. A few minutes later, another boy approached from the opposite direction, and off the first boy went to embrace his friend.
When did we loose this genuine love of seeing one another? Why is it that as an adult, hugging another adult is so difficult? What I saw this morning was exactly what I think Jesus meant when He said “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:3) Surely He wants us to love as He does, and the genuine happiness that these children showed when they greeted each other with hugs and exclamations of happiness, is exactly how I imagine He would greet me.
God, grant me the ability to set aside my shallow inhibitions and embrace others as Jesus would embrace me; with genuine friendship and love.