One privilege of my job is being able to visit with the 2, 3 and 4 year old children in our preschool and “Tiny Tots” programs. This week I had a wonderful interaction with a special little 2 year old whom I’ll call “Mary.” Mary is always a delight as she squeals with joy every time she sees me and comes running to give me a big smile and hug. On Monday I found the 2 year old class on their way to have their picture taken in the stable we had set up for our “Journey to Bethlehem.” Mary, dressed as the virgin Mary, insisted on taking my hand as we walked together to the stable. She was telling me all about the baby Jesus who had been born in the stable. When we were setting up for the group picture, I was able to snap this photo of Mary holding the baby Jesus.
Her very serious countenance reflected the awe she felt over holding baby Jesus. It reminded ME to have such simple faith that can still appreciate the awesome gift of Jesus, our Savior. The awe of the moment soon overwhelmed little Mary and she was afraid to hold the baby any longer. But, Mary trusted me and let me hold baby Jesus in front of her. So, in the rest of the pictures, my hand is there underneath Jesus, as Mary adored his little head with her own little hands.
This reminded me of another important privilege and responsibility of us older disciples of Jesus. We’re to hold up Jesus before the little ones. Even though Jesus is love incarnate, He may be unfamiliar and even frightening to little ones. However, Jesus is more readily received when He’s lifted up by a trusted grown up who’s taken the time to build an incarnate relationship with the child. I thank God I had this opportunity with Mary. It was a HUGE blessing to me. I also thank God for parents who fulfill this responsibility for their little ones on a daily basis. In such a relationship, everyone is blessed by Jesus “in the flesh.”