A Bold Approach

We had walked maybe 200 yards when several Maasai children appeared in the path. They came to me, these beautiful, giggling, happy children.

One of the most memorable joys of my life multiplied many times over was during my stint as a writer who traveled the world interviewing and reporting on missionaries.  While there are many deeply meaningful experiences, few top the time I visited the Maasai people in Tanzania.

On the morrow we would travel from village-to-village, visiting sites where the gospel had taken root and churches sprung up.  But on my first afternoon in Longido, TZ, missionary Tim Tidenberg said, “Let’s take a walk.”

I think we had walked maybe 200 yards behind his house when several Maasai children appeared in the path.  They knew Tim and came running toward him.  He greeted them.  Then they came to me, these beautiful, giggling, happy children.

They began bumping their heads into my thighs.  I thought I was not watching my step, so I took note to steer clear.  But they kept bumping their heads into my thighs, intentionally.

“Tim, what’s going on, here?”

“They’re greeting you.  They want you to put your hand on their heads.  It shows acceptance and approval.”

No one’s heart ever melted any faster.  It was my honor to place my palm briefly on their heads.  As I greeted them, they ran off one-by-one to do what little kids do.  And they ran off with my heart, too. 

Can you imagine children of single digit ages in our country running toward adults they had never met, arms extended, with a desire to be acknowledged and greeted by a hug?  I can’t — maybe because I was reared on the heels of a culture that thought children should be seen and not heard.  Yet, those precious African children ran boldly to me, their actions sweetly insisting they be greeted.

Decades later I reflected on this treasured memory and thought about the verse that commands God’s children to come boldly to him (Hebrews 4.16).  

When we come to God, should we not do as the Maasai children?  Hebrews 4.16 says we should.  Yes, there are those times we will have the attitude like the Prophet Isaiah (re: chapter 6).  But I think there are those times when we ought to run boldly to God.

The seraphim can just get out of the way because I am running to Daddy.

And Daddy will be delighted to place his palm on my head.

PRAYER: Daddy, I know this is another word for Abba and not merely father. So, thank you for this term of affection and for encouraging me to come to you in boldness. I know that you are ready to extend the welcome of your heart full of mercy and grace. Amen.

© 2020.

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