She sat in a slippery, candy red chair that seemed to swallow her up; legs not even long enough to dangle over the edge. Her heart held a continual gentle thud, full of excitement and maybe a bit of trepidation. Her chair was so high up that she didn’t dare to look over the edge. Her hands were sticky with melted goo from the Skittles she clutched. In front of her was an endless black hole.
The lights disappeared and her heart skipped a beat. The black hole suddenly came to life with colors and movement and sounds! A roaring laugh escaped from her mouth and she quickly covered it with a fist. She was only three years old, but she had never, ever experienced something quite like this.
Two seats over I couldn’t help but smile as my niece laughed and occasionally shrieked with excitement during her very first movie in the theatre. It was quite a sight. I had forgotten just how…majestic it all was. How twenty bucks didn’t just buy you a movie with popcorn and a soda, but it bought you an experience, a moment to step out of your life and live through the eyes of another.
For the remainder of the movie, I tried to remember just how incredible it all was. I tried to experience it as a child, because, a child sees things differently. A child looks at the world through different eyes.
In fact, it was Jesus who said, “I tell you the truth anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.” Those are chilling words. It seems as though we spend our whole childhood trying to grow up only to arrive at adulthood grasping for the innocence we lost along the way.
You see a child knows how to trust recklessly. A child trusts instinctively. A child comes with open arms. A child will jump into the deep end of a pool, even though she doesn’t know how to swim – as long as Dad is there to catch her. A child knows how to grab on to an outstretched hand, without uttering her skepticism. A child doesn’t come to God with a long list of “good deeds” thinking it will buy her heaven. A child doesn’t worry about what’s waiting at the end.
A child is a timeless portrait of what it means to trust. And trust – letting go and letting God – is really what salvation is all about.