Finding God's Winning Spirit

Emily & Malcolm

September 16, 2015 | Greg Smith | Focus


It was mid-afternoon one uneventful Saturday when the doorbell rang.  I opened the door to find a roughly dressed, obviously out of work, man standing on the porch.  I prepared myself for the “Can you spare some money?  I need to get somewhere,” speech.   I got a slightly different version of this as the stranger noted that my front yard looked pretty bad and he would rake leaves to earn some money for food.  No man likes hearing that his yard looks bad, but I had to admit he was right.  I needed to get outside anyway, so I agreed – if he would help me, I would pay him ten bucks.

Emily, my then three and a half year-old daughter, took to this guy like lint to Velcro.  She walked along with Malcolm (she quickly asked his name and pursued a first name basis) every step of the day.  She never had talked so much in her life.  She rattled off questions left and right and told Malcolm everything he wanted to know about her brother, us, the dogs, even listed every Christmas present she ever received.  I became uncomfortable with this interaction at times and tried to lure Emily away without hurting Malcolm’s feelings, but it was hopeless – they were inseparable.

It was getting dark and I asked if Malcolm wanted some supper before he leaving and he accepted.  Emily insisted on getting his plate and then plopped herself down beside Malcolm.  About half way through his meal Emily asked, “Do you have food at your house?”  I could have died!  Malcolm avoided the question pretty well, but Emily was not to be denied.  She waited a moment and responded with, “If you ever get hungry you can come to our house.  We always have food.”

We do not see pure love, acceptance and compassion much anymore. Why is that?

There is something that happens to us as with age; something that tends to hardens us. Life has a way of pounding innocence and joy from our souls and fills us with fear and contempt. After all, life is complex and must be negotiated with caution. We tell ourselves that naivety is synonymous with foolishness and openness is the breeding ground for heartbreak and pain. 

Just when we begin to buy this philosophy we read Mark 10:14-15, “… let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God.  Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.”

Faith tends to simplify.   

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