Faith Like a Child
Fall is always filled with family activities for us. It’s our favorite season and we have many traditions that we look forward to all year. Recently our family visited a pumpkin patch/fall festival that was hosted by a garden center. Our 5 year old, Hosea, loved all the activities, rides, and games they had set up, and as much as our baby, Noelle, loved watching all the excitement she, of course, couldn’t join in many of the activities. Her Daddy and I took turns walking her around letting her see all the colors and sights, smells and sounds. She was in awe.
At one point I took her on a little walk through the garden isles. Her eyes wide with wonder, wiggling her legs, she would call out with delight as we passed each new discovery. Nothing was old. Nothing was passed over. Nothing was taken for granted. Each spectacle was taken in as if it was meant for her to receive and enjoy without hesitation. Every flower petal and variegated leaf, the water trickling from the stone fountain, the friendly dog walking by–none of it was lost on her. Fingers boldly reaching to touch, to make contact with beauty. The gift of creation! So easily she believes that she is made to be a part of all that God has made. She has such simple faith that all of this is good.
It occurred to me as I watched her, eagerly introducing her to all that I could find, that this is how we are ALL supposed to encounter God and His creation and creatures. This is how we are all meant to receive Him and His gifts. Without hesitation–unjaded. How much wonder can be lost for us as we pile on the concerns and responsibilities of the world. How much of this child-like faith do we shed as we begin to doubt and fear?
Initially I began to grieve about the loss of innocence so many of us have experienced. I felt sad about how often I miss the simplicity and delight of all God has given me and all He displays of Himself daily even throughout what I would call the mundane routine.
And I see the truth played out in my daughter’s outstretched hand, that the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I don’t have to grieve the loss for long if I can allow myself to stop and notice these little ones and take to heart the powerful example that they are. This is how we were meant to be.
What a gift children are in preserving our faith. How deeply they restore our wonder.
May we never forget these precious ones and the way they point us to Christ.
Matthew 18:2-5 New International Version (NIV)
2 He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. 3 And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
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