Pulled By A Small Hand

When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then comefollow me.” (Luke 18:22)

Jesus said three words, “Come, follow me!” on at least two occasions to two different types of people. One type consisted of people He was inviting to come and follow Him, to be His disciples. The second type, depending on the gospel account you read, was someone of wealth and/or stature.

I wonder how hard it was for those He invited to summon up the courage to put to the side what they had and start on a new unknown journey. How much doubt did they deal with? What was the tipping point that determined whether they stayed or went?

In the Luke passage, the encounter with the rich young ruler comes immediately after Jesus has a difference of opinion with the same disciples who have accepted His offer to follow Him. They were rebuking people for trying to bring their children to Jesus. Jesus’ reply to them was “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”

Jesus loved kids. Children grabbed hold of the heartstrings of God’s own Son, a strong indication of God’s perspective as well.

The past few days Carol and I have been watching our two-and-a-half-year-old grandson while his mom, dad, and baby brother were away for some meetings and relaxation. Joey enjoyed having Grammy and Granddad all to himself for long periods of time. Carol did most of the work and will now take a few weeks to recover.

Meanwhile, Joey enjoyed pulling me around. He would slip his tiny hand into mine and say, with limited clarity still, “Grandad, come. Granddad, come.”

And I followed. You don’t refuse the pull of a small hand as he leads you to the next adventure. I couldn’t say, “No, Granddad has important things to do!” or “No, Granddad is too tired and needs to rest.”

The task I was being pulled to was sometimes the operating of a toy train, making sure it stayed on the defective track, and sometimes it was to pull him in a Joey-size play boat. In essence, I was being pulled in order to pull.

Interesting. The one who has the least amount of physical strength to pull me is the one who I can not offer any resistance to.

Jesus knew that. When parents tried to bring their offspring to Him to place His hand on them and bless them, the disciples yelled at the parents. Perhaps they wouldn’t have hindered the kids if they had come alone.

All I know is that I felt closer to God these past few days as a small hand took hold of mine and led me to where he wanted me to go.

“Come, follow me…Granddad!”

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