Recently I spent time with good friends who pastor a wonderful group of people in another state. This church is filled with children — many children! Even though I’ve been there previously and know this church, I am always surprised by how many children are there. I always find myself watching the children interact with the adults.
One evening while there, we gathered in their gym for a family meal and fellowship. The boy pictured above in the striped shirt climbed up beside one of the men seated across from me and began telling “knock-knock” jokes. Everyone around chimed in and laughed with this precocious little guy. Soon I noticed him loop his arm through the gentleman’s arm and move in closer to him. This deeply touched my heart because I knew the man was visiting from out-of-state and probably had not been with this church in quite some time. Obviously he had formed a relationship with the little boy prior to this meeting, and as they spent time together, the child openly demonstrated his affection for him!
After the meal the women worked to clean up while the family played basketball together. On my trips back and forth from the kitchen to the gym I continued to be drawn to the fun taking place on the basketball court. Dad’s helped their toddlers dribble the ball and lifted them to the basket for the “score”, older elementary girls had their own unique ball game off to the side, while other children and adults chatted and laughed easily together on the side lines.
Upon finishing the “clean-up” we gathered for a time of worship and a few short words of encouragement from the man who had been seated across from me at dinner. As things began to wind down the pastor announced a special song to close the evening. He commented that one of the children had come to him earlier and had requested to sing a song he had written. As four children came out and stood on chairs I noticed one of them was the little boy who had entertained us at dinner. He was the author of the song and clearly the leader of the group!
The instruments began to play as the kids worked hard for a moment to find the notes and sing the words in unison. Suddenly the pitch of the notes and the depth of the words came together and slammed into my heart, causing my eyes to fill with tears.
“SomeOne is strong enough, SomeOne is strong enough, SomeOne is strong enough to hold us in His hands.
His Name is The Holy One, His name is The Holy One, His name is The Holy One, Forever.”
To everyone the words carried strength and comfort and their voices reflected the love of God for His children. God’s Presence filled the room, but more importantly it filled our hearts. Time had been taken to allow these children to sing, and obviously truth had been taught for it flowed from their hearts. Simple words . . simple tune . . profound truth!
I felt privileged to have experienced this defining moment and deeply impacted by the value placed on the children in this church. Their lives mattered, their influence was immense and God was honored!
Truly ” . . . out of the mouths of babes YOU have prepared praise for Yourself.” (Mt. 21:16 NAS)