August 19, 2008

A Holy Noogy

Matthew 21:14-16

“From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise.”
Matthew 21:16


On the InterVarsity Press Online Pulpit, Gerry Koning shared a story about Jesse, a 13-year-old who has Down Syndrome. Jesse went out for breakfast with his father and grandparents one day, and he would have loved to wander through the restaurant meeting people, so his dad put his arm around Jesse while they sat and ate. Then, when the four of them stood up to leave, Jesse dashed to the table across the aisle to meet two well-dressed businessmen. They had spent their time at breakfast with their PDAs and spreadsheets. Jesse greeted one and offered his hand. The man took Jesse's hand and even gave him his name. Jesse went in for a hug, which the man returned warmly. Sensing the man's affection, Jesse went for it all. He put the businessman in a headlock and gave him a noogy (vigorously rubbing his scalp with his knuckles). Jesse's father apologized to the man; then he told Jesse firmly that the man did not deserve a noogy. But the man responded that he did deserve one?and probably more. He explained that he had not treated his wife kindly that morning. Then he said, “Sometimes God speaks to us loudly through a burning bush, and at other times through a young child.” Jesus, too, reminded people that God often speaks through children. Whom is God using to speak to you today?

Forgive me, Lord, for not listening when you speak to me through others. Open my ears and my heart. Help me to listen and obey faithfully, in Jesus' name. Amen.

About the author — Mark Stephenson

Rev. Mark Stephenson is the Director of Disability Concerns for the Christian Reformed Church in North America. Previously he served in two congregations in Michigan. He and his wife have four children.

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