Saturday, June 17, 2017

A Sheep in Sheep's Clothing

Photo will be described in the body of the text of this post.
Sadie proudly pulled out of her school bag the gifts she had made for her dad on Father's Day. There were a lot of them. She quietly sorted them out so that she could display them properly. I got a chance to see the gifts and, as always, I was quite moved by them. She put so much effort into hers. At the end, she looked at one last gift, sitting on the side table where she'd sorted them all out. After some thought she brought it over. It was a picture of a sheep. A one eyed sheep. It had the words Jesus Love's Us Always and Jesus is always in our hearts. She explained to me that when she made it, she had glued on two eyes.

She became a little upset when this happened, she said, and almost threw the artwork out. I asked her why she didn't. I know Sadie and she is very serious about her work and wants it to be just right. I was curious as to her reasoning.

"Well," she explained, "It's okay for a sheep to have one eye. It's still a sheep. It would be fair to throw a sheep away or hurt a sheep just because it had only one eye, would it?" I agreed that it wouldn't.

I asked her if Jesus would love a sheep just with one eye, or would the sheep have to have two eyes to be loved.

That I was told, was a silly question.

And she refused to answer it.

Because it was silly.

It should be a silly question shouldn't it? The answer is obvious to a seven year old girl. We are loved, perfect or not, and we are worthy of being kept and loved. We should expect kindness, different or not, and we are worthy enough to be seen has a gift. We should not be thrown away, two eyes or one, and we are worthy of welcome and belonging.

People will say, I know, that children can be wise, and of course they are. But worries me that is that the wisdom of children is seen as more cute than wise. What worries me is that we listen and smile at the words rather than being moved into action by the words.

Sadie's view of the value of everyone is a direct challenge to all of us, who find her words wise, to demonstrate that every day.

Every. Day.


Unknown said...

Sadie is both wise and strong - blessed with people who love her and have truly kind hearts - so her child's loving heart and strength have been nurtured, not harmed in the young years.
Many children are not so blessed, learning to fear instead of to love and to to use their strength to hurt others or to hurt themselves.

As we grow older we have many invitations to change in ways that will return us to the loving heart and strength of love that we were born with.The older we are, the harder it may be to change.


ABEhrhardt said...

With you in her life - and Joe - there is little chance she will lose some of the gifts she already has.

Too many kids spend their lives in sanitized environments which are supposed to be perfect - all the oddities trimmed off - and grow up intolerant of anyone not perfect, or worse, find out that they themselves are the oddities and are not trimmed off yet because the non-odds haven't found out or are being 'tolerant' of their oddness.

Instead, the sanitizing is what's off, removing the color and the joy and the inclusiveness. God made me one of the odds. Who am I to question Him?

szera said...

So precious this wise young lady ... and most definitely the world can learn a lesson in unconditional love from her.
You and Joe are so blessed having the girls in your life ... as are they having you two in theirs. 💚