The Day Caden Visited the Temple

Thursday, May 16

5.16By Geoff Henshaw of Independence, Missouri, USA

Then little children were being brought to him in order that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples spoke sternly to those who brought them; but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.” And he laid his hands on them and went on his way.

—Matthew 19:13–15

I serve on weekends as a tour guide at the Temple in Independence, Missouri. People from many faith communities and of different age groups visit the Temple, wishing to have a tour. One October, a family visited. The group was comprised of the parents, grandparents, great-grandfather, and 2-year-old Caden.

The tour follows the Worshiper’s Path to the Temple Sanctuary. As the group approached the top of the path, Caden’s interest had waned in this adult-oriented tour.

I was aware of his restlessness and reminded the adults of how Jesus welcomed the children into his arms and stated, “of such is the kingdom.” Kneeling down, I gently placed my hands on Caden’s face and said to him, “You are the kingdom of God.”

Caden giggled and smiled, and we continued the tour.

Such moments have deep meaning for me. Sometimes God’s light surprises, and we are all blessed as I was the day Caden visited the Temple with his family.

Prayer for Peace
Loving God, make us aware of the attributes of children that we might emulate for the cause of your kingdom. May we never take for granted their “insights.” If, at first, we smile at the silliness of what they say, may we revisit, reflect, and discover the unguarded truth they tell. May we adopt their innocence and nonjudgmental nature. May we learn from them ways to share Christ’s peace.

Spiritual Practice: Listening to Children
Sit in your quiet place and center your heart and mind on God’s presence. Spend several minutes, asking God to bring into your awareness the names and images of children in your life. You may see their faces or hear their voices as you receive these impressions. Listen deeply to the unique gifts and needs of the children who come to mind. Offer a prayer of blessing for each child and the needs you perceive. If you feel led, you also may want to write a note or card and give a message of affirmation and love to each child.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will spend time with a child and consider it time well spent.

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1 Comment

  1. Vera Entwistle

     /  16 May 2013

    What a lovely story, Geoff. Thanks for sharing.
    Vera Entwistle

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