Every Sunday I see hundreds of children at church.
And during the week I’m blessed with fifty or more children that come across my barn’s threshold. And there is something interesting that I’m learning about how they see other people. I might remember a particular child by his hair color or personality. And I might remember another adult by their fashion sense or by the way they interact.
But kids see things a bit differently.
I started noticing it when I’d drop by the local grocery store. This store is tiny and located in a small town just down the road from my barn. The “hi, how are ya’s” seep from every aisle. It’s as close to Andy Griffith in technicolor as you’ll ever see in real life.
Every afternoon there are floods of children getting an after school snack. And they always stop and say hello and sometimes hug my neck. And I noticed they do the same with my burly, bald-headed husband. The parents always turn their head like a chihuahua when it hears a high-pitched noise. They don’t recognize us in our barn clothes.
You see, on Sunday’s when we work with kids, my husband shows off that bald noggin and covers his tattoos with a long-sleeved shirt. He looks like a somewhat typical dad. And I am usually in comfy, almost-church clothes suitable for anything that a kids’ worship service requires with my hair hanging long and usually washed and curled just a little.
But we look quite different when we walk around during the week. I own a horse farm, and we work long hours. It’s my job, but it’s also our life. During the week, if you happen upon us, out and about, you wouldn’t recognize us.
My hubs walks around with a tired strut with his tattoos exposed, ball cap, jeans, and dirty boots. And I try to hide under a ball cap wearing pigtails and no makeup (OK, maybe some mascara).
The hiding works … with adults. Parents don’t recognize us. They stare wondering who in the world their kids are talking too. I completely understand because I struggle recognizing my riders at the farm (whom I know quite well) without their riding helmet on. And if I see them out in “real clothes,” I struggle to call them the right name. And I always do a double take when they come in from school with their hair curled and looking “different.”
But the kids always know us.
There is no incognito with them! They don’t care about ball caps and tattoos and dirty boots and yesterday’s makeup. So why do adults struggle with seeing people in different places and clothes? And why can kids see someone that looks completely different and know them immediately? Perhaps it’s because we, adults, aren’t looking at the right things?
It got me wondering if there was more to the verse that said, “So anyone who becomes as humble as this little child is the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven.” (Matthew 18:4) Do we try to have the faith of a child but miss the point? I think they recognize adults in all situations because they aren’t looking at our clothes. They aren’t looking at how we did our hair or if we put on makeup.
They recognize us by our heart and our Spirit.
Which challenges me! I want my Spirit to be one of love and joy and easily recognizable to those kiddos and adults. And even more than that, I want my eyes to see others like the kids see adults. I want to walk by you in the hall at church and see your heart. Not your fabulous shoes or your new highlights. And I want the same of you.
When you see me, I want you to see my Father’s eyes (as Amy Grant so innocently sung in the 80s) and I want to see the Father in you as well. Because that’s truly recognizing and knowing a sister or brother in Christ.
When you see me, I want you to see past the clothes and day old makeup. I want you to see Jesus.Click To Tweet
She’s got her Father’s eyes, her Father’s eyes
Eyes that find the good in things
When good is not around
Eyes that find the source of help
When help just can’t be found
Eyes full of compassion, seeing every pain
Knowin’ what you’re going through, and feeling it the same
Just like my Father’s eyes
My Father’s eyes
-Father’s Eyes, Amy Grant (written by Gary Chapman)
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