How many of us have ever been in a situation where within seconds you have been completely disarmed by the honesty of the child you are with? Recently, I was employed as a Children's ministry intern at a church, and there were many times when this happened to me. But I can recall one story told by a parent that stands out above the rest.
At my church there was a young boy, Jack, who was about 3 years old. Imagine the most charming, adorable, blue- eyed baby boy possible, and you now have the image of Jack. I have never met any other child as sweet and trusting as Jack is. Don't get me wrong, he's not perfect. But he does hold the gift of making your heart melt.
A couple of weeks ago, it came time for the yearly shots. Yes, we all know them. The time of the year when normal children manage to stir up every ounce of strength and adrenaline that they possess and manage to fend off and outsquirm up to half a dozen nurses in fear of the horrid prick of the needle. The things we go through in the name of health.... And if squirming, fighting, pinching, kicking, biting, and licking doesn't work, then they use their ultimate tool given to them by God at way too young of an age- the scream that would even bring a banshee to tears.
Well, for Jack, there was none of the above described hoo-rah. Instead, his experience was quite the opposite. On the way to the clinic, he was a chipper, excited little fellow, chatting with his mom about whatever crossed his happy little mind- cars, birds, trees, Spider Man, quantum theory, etc. Once they got there and made it into the doctor's office, Jack made himself at home on the examination table, making easy conversation with the nurse in the manner of a true politician, with full confidence and bright-eyed trust. The nurse, of course, chatted along with Jack as she prepared the ominous syringe for his chubby little leg. After about five minutes, she was ready to give him the shot, and Jack was still happily jawing away about new toys or what have you. The nurse made a passing comment about how calm her unsuspecting little victim was, then proceeded to stick him with the needle after a mumbled warning about him feeling a slight prick.
Jack's face went from a look of happy, complete trust, to a look of shocked betrayal. This expression was quickly followed by narrowed eyes of suspicion and angry silence toward the nurse, who had finished the injection and was unsuccessfully trying to re-establish their friendship. Jack was finally persuaded by his mother to take a bright red sucker for being so "brave", but on their way out, as the nurse waved good-bye, he gave her one last vindictive look and said to his mother with an accusing tone and pointing finger, "Mommy, that's the lady who SHOT me!"
If we could only recapture the trust inherent in childhood, the world would be our oyster. Imagine the last time you were completely honest with someone. Remember the power that gave you? Honesty is honestly disarming.