Whether a first or return trip to Guatemala, one of your immediate observations will be the deep brown eyes of the children. These are eyes unlike any you’ll see anywhere because they are eyes that immediately captivate and draw you in.
Earlier today a six or seven-year-old girl made her way over to where I was quietly writing. I don’t know Spanish, so besides saying “hola”, I wasn’t able to communicate. But what I noticed was how interested and intrigued she was by me. Certainly, I was not the first gringo that she encountered, yet I quickly concluded she was intrigued by my computer. Her eyes were inquisitive as she waited to calculate my response to her approach. I smiled and welcomed her presence as best I could within my limited ability to communicate. The encounter could be quickly dismissed as not all that significant, yet following her departure, God kept bringing the Scripture truth to mind “unless you become like a little child, you can enter the kingdom of heaven”.
Like many texts, this statement by Jesus is both perplexing yet challenging. What does he mean by this? Can a person become like a little child once they are grown, or perhaps a better question could be formed around what is it about a little child that as adults we lose?
This question reminded me of our arrival in this small village. Rachel, a high school student from West Michigan, was with us last year in this village, which resulted in her building many connections with the children. Most Guatemalans, in my opinion, exhibit a friendliness, but it was the children who are often the first to greet our vans. Upon some children seeing Rachel, after a year’s passing, it was as if they were welcoming a true friend back into their little community.
There are many things we discover about children that give insight into this Biblical challenge. Here are just a couple of thoughts.
The children of Guatemala (like all children) are precious. Jesus wants to remind us today that we are his children. We can come to him uninhibited and receive His deep love that never fails.