READ : Mark 10:13-16
“Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.” (v. 14)
“Mister, Mister.” A small boy is calling out to me. I try to ignore him because I know he wants money. The boy keeps calling as I keep walking. The door of my escape is just ahead. Still he calls, “Mister, Mister.”
It’s the wrong door. We’re on the Bethlehem side of the Separation Wall, and the turnstile will not turn. I can’t get out. I turn to look at this persistent child. He says, “Not this way, Mister. Over here is where you get out.” Out of the place of Jesus’ birth. Out of despair which has become the definition for Bethlehem. He walks me down the hill and along a hideous wall. I look down at him and he says, “I tried to tell you, but you wouldn’t listen.”
Often we say of something, “We are doing this for the sake of our children and grandchildren.” And who are these children and grandchildren? What about my neighbor’s child? Is my neighbor’s child my child? What will it take for the children of the world to get our attention?
Sweet Jesus, give us eyes to see the children, ears to hear their cries, and the will to get them out of despair and hopelessness.