People were bringing little children to Jesus to have him touch them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, He was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And He took the children in His arms and blessed them. Mark 10:13-16
The long awaited weekend finally arrived. Shopping in the city with my delightful children promised to be filled with fun, frivolity and pleasurable purchases. I had two children, two hands, a full tank of gas and money to spend; all was well with the world.
The half hour drive to the city gave me an opportunity to proffer wisdom and reminders about honoring and obeying. I was certain God was pleased with my approach. Both little darlings nodded in agreement at my instruction and vowed to get along and listen.
Our shopping expedition was underway. As we strolled near a ladies’ wear store, a rack of marvelous sale merchandise beckoned me to take a peek. I took the bait and began fumbling through the fine array of fashionable styles.
There had to be more inside, I deduced. We entered the trendy store and I whispered clear directives to my tagalong twosome about staying close and keeping hands off the merchandise. I headed to a rack of shimmering dresses. “Mommy…I need to go to the bathroom badly!’ a little voice soon called out.
Sharply dressed sales clerks stared at me, no doubt wondering what I would do. The old bathroom excuse was my son’s finest tactic for getting me to hurry up, but it wasn’t going to work this time. I needed a few more minutes to look around. “You’ll have to wait…” I whispered and resumed my browsing.
Moments later I saw my smiling son come strolling out of an employees only door. “See. There is a restroom, Mommy.” I reiterated my earlier command to join his sister on the bench outside the fitting rooms.
A sales clerk with a pasted on smile handed me a number and, clutching two stunning outfits, I entered a fitting room close to the bench where my fidgeting pair sat.
I had barely struggled to get out of my clothes when the flimsy door burst open. “I wanna’ see, too!” My son’s voice bounced off the walls of the posh store. I inadvertently let out a scream. There I stood, red-faced in my underwear. All heads turned my way. I hauled the culprit into the now cramped change room and with gritted teeth strongly advised him to NEVER do that again.
After a difficult struggle in the tiny cubicle (complete with son) I managed to try on one of the outfits. I stepped outside the room to see if the mirror did me any justice. “They look like pajamas!” my daughter laughed. “Ssshhh!” I hissed noticing eyes upon me again. I nipped back into the room with son in tow.
It was my daughter’s turn to get restless. She had spotted a circular revolving rack heavily laden with ‘just in’ designer clothing. I walked out of the fitting room in time to see the entire rack whiz around and fall to the floor. Fancy apparel flew in every direction. I could have screamed. My daughter did.
A thousand apologies later and short of placing sin offerings at the feet of the fuming sales clerks, I left - without frock or finery. I now had the undivided attention of the partners in crime and they could tell momma bear was not happy. “D’we hafta’ go home now?” a sheepish voice sensed the impending doom.
As I contemplated the purchase of two collars and one short leash, my heart softened. How many times had I gone to God with a sheepish voice and how many times had He forgiven me? Too often, I have embarrassed God with thoughtless words and foolish choices. Yet, He still loves me despite my imperfections and foibles.
In Psalm 127:3 we are reminded that children are a heritage from the Lord and are to be counted as blessings not burdens.
So I counted my blessings for the rest of the shopping trip. Relief was written on the faces of my dynamic duo and I was especially happy when we read the sign in the next window - CHILDREN WELCOME. I’m sure they’ll have that same sign on the gates of heaven!