I have always been amazed by the simple yet profound wisdom of children. I have seven grandchildren spread over 2 states and ranging from 20 to 6 in age. Over the years I’ve learned many special things by listening and asking questions….and by listening carefully to their answers. My youngest grandsons are now 8 and 6. We try to do sleepovers here with me about every week. I have learned so much from them that I keep a pencil handy whenever they are here.
They are growing boys and they need to eat fairly frequently to fuel that apparently bottomless pit of energy. Whether it is a snack or a meal here at my house or in one of their favorite restaurants – can I refer to Chick-Fil-A as a restaurant?? – they both end up with residue of whatever they have eaten on both hands and faces. They always have a napkin at their places, but they always come to me and hold out their hands to be cleaned. One day I asked, “Why? Why do you come to me or your mommy or your daddy to have your hands and face cleaned?” Their answer was as simple as it was profound: “Because we can’t clean it all off by ourselves! We need help.”
Well, that was convicting! How often have I tried and tried to clean my hands, but never asked for help? “I can do it myself!” How many times in my life have my hands been soiled by pride, contaminated by my own vision, and polluted by my own thoughts that I could not clean them? How many times have I failed miserably in this task because, as these children have said, I “can’t clean it off?” I can’t clean it off because I am a sinner, and I need a parent to clean my hands just as do my grandchildren. I need an “abba.” And why do we need clean hands? The psalmist answered that eloquently:
3 Who may ascend onto the hill of the Lord?
And who may stand in His holy place?
4 One who has clean hands and a pure heart,
Who has not lifted up his soul to deceit
And has not sworn deceitfully.
5 He will receive a blessing from the Lord.
Psalm 24: 3-4 (NASB).