#13: Follow the children

People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them (Mark 10:13-16).

Boori (Monty) Pryor is descended from the Birri-gubba nation of the Bowen region and the Kunggandji people from Yarrabah, near Cairns. He is an acclaimed author and storyteller who regularly performs in schools.

The beauty in the hearts of some of these students sucks the breath out of me. To have my family see what these students are thinking, and that’s often just after one contact with one Aboriginal person, that gives us all hope. As I’ve said before, we need white people to heal, for us to heal, see? These young people are the light.

Children always seem to bridge the gap. Like music, if you listen to them and follow their lead, your spirit will dance.

“Hey, I’ve been to Yarrabah,” this little one yelled out at the top of her voice. I was right in the middle of explaining where I come from to a class. I said, “Oh! Hello! Well, that’s my mob there.” And she said, “Gee, it’s beautiful there.” And I said, “Who did you know out there?” And she said, “Oh, we met a lot of people there.”

I was interested how she got to Yarrabah. She said she was down on the Esplanade in Cairns and she met this old lady. She went up and sat down and started talking. There are always articles in the local paper about all the drunk Aboriginals down on the Esplanade. How they are putting off the tourists and shouldn’t be allowed there. This little one was only seven or so. She told me she went up to the old lady and started talking to her and the old woman said, “Aah, my girl, sit down and have a chat.” And her mum and dad, they were fine, they ended up sitting down and joining this little mob. The old lady asked, “You fullas want to come over to Yarrabah?”

They ended up spending the whole day over there. They had cups of tea and saw all around Yarrie and the young girl played with all the kids.

That’s all it takes. That’s all it takes, just to sit down and talk and listen to each other. Ω

Reflect: When have you seen a child living God’s kingdom-culture? When has a child shown you how to listen and connect? Ask God how you could be more like that child. Pray for children.

#Lent2020 © Sanctuary, 2020, quoting Boori (Monty) Pryor, Maybe Tomorrow. Ringwood, Vic: Penguin, 1998. Buy it from your favourite bookseller.


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