Faith Like a Child
¡§This is my brother, Jonathan¡¨. They walked into the room together, one limping as he walked, the other patiently walking by his side. Matthew and Jonathan were brothers who would be attending my VBS class for the next few days. Jonathan was a 9 year old boy who suffered from a mental and physical handicap. He was just as bright as all the other kids in my class, yet it took him a little longer to formulate his thoughts and articulate them into words. When he walked, his right leg struggled to hold him up, as he limped from side to side. The simple task of walking was a battle for him, and climbing stairs seemed almost impossible. But he pressed on.
¡§Do you want to take the elevator, Jonathan?¡¨ ¡§No¡¨, he spoke slurred and slow- but with certainty, ¡§I think I can do it¡¨. And he did.
His brother, Matthew, was his best friend. Matthew was one year older than Jonathan, but he was his strength and support. One day, near the end of the stairwell, Jonathan took a hard fall in front of all the children. I could see the disappointment on his face. And then I saw Matthew run to his side and I heard, ¡§It¡¦s okay. You¡¦re almost there, Jonathan, you can do it!¡¨ I believe that that was the voice that got Jonathan through, and kept him going. They were inseparable, and I could see why.
All week, through my lessons, I noticed Jonathans eyes light up as we talked about the great love of Jesus. Although he smiled much, he spoke rarely. On one of the last night¡¦s of session, we talked about the value of knowing and loving the Lord. I¡¦m not one to ¡§push¡¨ children to salvation. In fact, I am cautious and not very trusting of inviting children to ¡§Pray the prayer of Salvation¡¨. My heart had even grown cynical towards the fact that a child can truly be saved at such a young age. I just wasn¡¦t sure that they could grasp and understand.
I was forgetting something- the great power of the Holy Spirit. I was forgetting that God calls US to have faith like a child. We are to be conformed to their methods¡Kthe simple trust and dependency that comes from no other example but a child. This child was about to teach me great things.
After the lesson, I invited anyone who wanted to know more about Jesus to stay back and chat with me ¡V at the great loss of missing craft time. Sure enough, everyone buzzed out the door and towards their next destination. As I was packing up my things and getting ready to go, I noticed Jonathan hadn¡¦t budged. He slowly stood up, and walked over to me.
¡§Miss Debbie¡¨, he spoke slowly, ¡§Can you tell me how I can love Jesus?¡¨
Everything within me melted. Here was a precious boy, who had already realized that there was something more to this life, and he wanted it. I smiled and joked, ¡§You sure you want to miss craft sweetie?¡¨ With all seriousness Jonathan replied, ¡§Miss Debbie, this is more important¡K¡¨
And so we sat, and talked. We spoke of Jesus, and our need for Him, as humans who were born with sin. ¡§I do bad things all the time- do you?¡¨ he asked me. He understood. We spoke of the cross, and the beauty that comes when Jesus comes and takes away the sins of the world. We talked about the suffering of Christ, and how he died in our place. ¡§Did Jesus go to hell for us when He died so that we wouldn¡¦t have to?¡¨ Now he was grasping even more theological truth than I was even prepared to answer ?º
He was absolutely ready to accept the Lord, and by the end of the 20 minutes, I was sure that he had completely grasped the power in the love of Christ¡Kthe Lord was doing a great work in this little boy¡¦s heart.
I prayed for him, and then with all beauty and simplicity he prayed, asking the Lord to come and take over, to come and change him. ¡§Will Jesus even change my emotions?¡¨ he asked, ¡§because sometimes I¡¦m not very brave¡¨. I have no doubt that Jonathan will walk with the bravest of men.
The transforming power of God in a life cannot be mistaken for anything else. ¡§Miss Debbie,¡¨ he said, ¡§I was so happy when Jesus came into my heart that I stopped breathing for a second!¡¨ It was clear that he had been touched, his bright face was filled with joy.
As we walked out of the room, to meet up with his brother (I had never seen them apart before this very moment), he walked quickly! ¡§Matthew!! Guess what?!¡¨ ¡§What, Jonathan?¡¨ ¡§You tell him, Miss Debbie!¡¨
¡§Jonathan trusted in Jesus today, Matthew. He asked him into his heart.¡¨
¡§Have you ever done that, Matthew?¡¨ Jonathan asked very seriously.¡§Um¡KNo, I never have¡¨¡§Well, why dontcha?? Why dontcha right now??¡¨This time it was the voice and hand of Jonathan that was leading, and it was a beautiful sight.
Sure enough, Matthew decided right there and then that he wanted to take some time to hear more about Jesus, and by the end of our chat he had also decided that this was a step he wanted to take in his life. He followed Jonathan into an irreplaceable relationship with the Most High God.
Walking back to meet his dad, Jonathan walked faster than his legs could manage, he couldn¡¦t wait to tell his dad what had happened. The whole way back was filled with questions, he wanted to know more and more.
¡§Miss Debbie, can my dad read my bible to me everyday, since I can¡¦t ready very well? Miss Debbie, I won¡¦t have my bible till I get home, is it okay if I don¡¦t ready it for a week? Miss Debbie, I did something bad today, is Jesus going to be able to forgive me again?¡¨
His faith and his passion, at the age of 9, put me to shame. I learned a lot from Jonathan, although I was the one that was supposed to be there to teach him- but oh, how often truth is revealed to us in the most humbling of ways.
I learned that my complexity many times keeps me away from the simplicity found in the deep love of Christ. I learned that many times, I trust my tactics and the methods of evangelism over the mighty and indescribable power of the Holy Spirit. I learned that, in order to enter the kingdom of God¡K
We must ALL become as children. There is no other way.
Debra Rashid is a mental health counselor at a local hospital, working with at-risk children and youth. She is currently studying to get her Masters in Counseling at Liberty University. Debra wants to take this education into the inner city, where her passion lies, and use it to bring change about in the lives of urban youth. She is currently the director of an inner city mentorship program. She hopes her passion in writing will spark others to reach the world with the love of God that has been shown to her.
Need for a Belief System: A System of Organization for Your Experiences!
I've spoken with many people who, over time, have felt inundated by their lives. It seems as though they've accumulated all of these memories and experiences, but the information seems jumbled and overwhelming. This pile of 'mind junk' keeps getting in their way whenever they attempt to move forward in life. It's as if they feel that they have to deal with each and every disassociated memory lying on the floor of their brains.
Direct Answers - Column for the week of July 21, 2003
Let Change Be Your Friend, Mentor, and Inspiration
People have a tendency of anticipating pending change on the assumption that it will be bad. Such focus on the negatives contribute to unnecessary fears of change, even when there is really not much, if anything, to fear. Sometimes that fear can be inflamed by self doubt; doubts of our own ability to deal with this new situation that is about to befall us.
Beauty, Gratitude, and the Open Heart
"?beauty on your earth is a shadow of the beauty of our heaven, and it's a bitter thing to have a blindness for beauty on earth, for it makes a longer teaching to see the beauties of heaven." Spoken by an Irish spirit in the book The Boy who Saw True (anonymous author).
A Rush Home to Rapture
Riding a rush, being juiced, flying high-this is the feeling we strive for every day.
Wow a Butterfly!
Okay, I am sure that you clicked on this title out of curiosity. Wow a butterfly; what would a butterfly have to do with self help content? And you are right. Not a thing! But it is the phrase that my daughter used when she saw a butterfly while playing outside. She said it with so much excitement that I could not help but feel excited for her too.
Psychic Sponge Syndrome: The Easy Inner-Centrifuge Remedy
Here's a nifty trick to use to clear yourself of any psychic "stuff" you may pick up as you move through the world. I learned the basic format for it from a woman who had the booth space adjacent to mine at a tradeshow. Being someone who had not yet mastered the art of being open-hearted without sponging up the energy of others, I was walking around like a zombie on day two of the show, after having been immersed in the circus of conflicting energies the day before . My booth neighbor asked me what was going on with me, as I was obviously not as radiant as I had been on day one. When I explained that I had soaked up too much chaotic energy and didn't know how to rid myself of it, she said, "Oh. You just need to spin it off." And I said, "Cool! HOW?!"
Fulfill Your Dreams: Believe in You
What we believe plays a very big role in outcomes in our life. If you believe you cannot do something, then you will not even try. You will give up without lifting a finger. When you label something impossible, you brain simply shuts down. It does not bother processing the information at it's disposal. It is not worth the effort.
What in the World are You Doing?
Here is the typical life ? typical, though not everybody does it this way. But for the most part, lives generally go something like this:
"If unresolved anger is a toxin to the spirit, forgiveness is the antidote." - Brian L. Seaward
Escape into Reality and Find Love
The early months of this year brought major challenges, as well as blessings, for many folks. They certainly brought many unique challenges and blessings for me.
Each Moment Is To Be Treasured
Let us grasp and treasure each precious moment of our lives. The previous moment is gone and the next is on its way. In truth, all we ever really have is this exact, precise moment in time.
5 Things That Americans Can Do To Remember Reviving, Surviving and Thriving in the Wake of Sept 11
For those people who lost friends and loved ones in the September 11th World Trade Center attacks, the anniversary will re-open the wounds and renew the pain of great loss. For the rest of us, it is a painful reminder of our vulnerability. The anniversary renews our grief for the loss of security and innocence we enjoyed in peaceful times. How do we experience the anniversary of our greatest national disaster in a positive way? Talk about it with others. How far have we come? What have we learned? How are we feeling? as a country, and as individuals? Honor those we knew and loved who lost their lives. Write about them, look at the pictures again, and talk about them. Keep their memories alive openly. Be with your supporters, at home and away. Reconnect with the positive people in your life. Sharing with others always makes the burden lighter. Take care of yourself, physically and emotionally. Do physical exercise? breath deeply and live fully. Do something you always wanted to do. Take a long walk. Turn your most negative experience to a positive, by giving to others. It is through giving that you will receive so much more in return. By helping others, anger and pain are transformed into power; the power to make our world better in the wake of crisis. Cheryl Perlitz ~ 2004 All Rights Reserved
The Serpents Genesis 1 and 2
Not long after the beginning a being fell from the heavens to the earth. Even as the Spirit of God hovered overhead, the Serpent swam the waters below. As light divided from darkness, the Serpent chose the darkness, preferring it to the light. And the Serpent stalked the darkness of that first night.
TIES that BIND
I have no idea how it started or who launched it. Nevertheless years after all of the women in my family died (they were the initiators of all of our major family events and thingamajigs). After the demise of these women our family unit was left largely comprised of men). In recent years, I started paying attention to remarks that I'd heard growing up and today continually heard from other family members about how our family is considerably dissimilar or substantially distant from each other and how we were markedly contrasted from that of other families. As a young adult, I sold into that inconsistency and I eventually started to believe it. Now, from top to bottom I fervently want to know how this mis-perception spawned. I had to see for myself if this "assumption" holds water.
For Old Times Sake
Direct Answers - Column for the week of August 19, 2002
My Lost Immortality
Oh my God, I'm not immortal anymore! What happened? Where's my neverending youth? My long summers? My bright future?
"We come equipped with everything we need to experience a powerful life full of joy, incredible passion, and profound peace. The difficult part is giving ourselves permission to live it." ? Deborah Rosado Shaw
Adversity, What Is It Good For?
As I sat down to write this article, I was reflecting back over the last week ? a week filled with adversity. We all go through it and it is during those times that we may often wonder what is it all for anyway? What is the point? What is it good for?
Earlier this year, following an intention to live more consciously, I deemed it the Year of Awakening. For me, I envision a lifetime of conscious living as I more fully awaken to the spiritual being that I truly am. As a part of my spiritual journey, I love to look up the meanings of things to gain an even deeper understanding. This is what Webster's Dictionary had to say about the word conscious: in the "moment", in waking awareness, mentally perceptive, alert, subjectively knowing, intentional, deliberate, inwardly attentive, mindful, possessing knowledge, cognizant, knowing one's self, realizing and recognizing.
|© Athifea Distribution LLC - 2013|