Childlike Faith and Wonder - Greg Barrette
"I promise you that unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the Kingdom of heaven. The greatest in the Kingdom of heaven is the one who gets humble and becomes like this child."
In 1981, the Youth of Unity held a week-long children's camp in the mountains of southern California. As the adult sponsor, I was put in charge of the makeshift infirmary--but there was no way that I was prepared for the two crises that hit in quick succession one sunny
The seven-year-old girl was running along a rocky trail and twisted her ankle severely. It had swollen to nearly twice the size of the other, and her wails and cries were heart-wrenching. She had to be carried in and was gently placed on the table.
After I applied ice and elevated her leg, I said a quick affirmative prayer that was interrupted by three excited boys who were shouting over each other. I could barely make out that another boy was hurt up at their cabin. They wanted me to come right away and help him.
Before I left with them, I told the little girl that I'd be right back, but she could spend that time speaking to the life in her ankle, telling it to shrink and stop hurting. As I started to leave I heard her shout at it "Shrink, ankle. Stop hurting!" so I suggested that she could say it silently if she wanted.
I was deeply concerned by the look of the boy who was frightened and losing consciousness as he sat on his top bunk. He was mumbling and slurring his words. From the other boys, I learned that the prank they had tried to pull on him had turned bad. When they had thrust a large, dead bug up into his face, he jumped up from his bunk and hit his head hard on the rafters. I noticed that the right side of his face was drooping and the pupil of that eye didn't respond to my flashlight.
The camp was two hours from the nearest hospital. What made the best sense was to get someone to call ahead to the emergency room and drive him there myself. An ambulance might arrive too late. So we all piled into my car.
One of the boys reminded me that I had left the girl in the infirmary, so I left the engine running and ran back to check on her. She was still intensely focused on her ankle when I removed the ice. All the swelling had disappeared. Before I could say anything, she jumped down hard from the table and started running off. I cautioned her to be careful and she replied "It's okay, my ankle listened to me!" and ran away without a trace of a limp.
On the ride to the hospital, we made the boy talk to keep him awake and had him participate in a loud Unity affirmation chanting session, invoking and visualizing light and healing for his brain. By the time we got there, he was completely normal. The emergency room staff showed annoyance when they determined that he was in no real danger, and made him wait for over an hour for his examination. They found no symptoms and he was released.
What happened here?
Could it be that the childlike faith Jesus spoke of was at work in these two little souls, not having the resistance that might impede its progress in an adult? Something to think about, but not too hard. Instead, try being that child who doesn't think about it overmuch, but
trusts and surrenders!