Children are fascinating.
Oh, I know — kids are messy, noisy, disruptive. They break things, fall down and cry, tease one another, and chase any sensible cat or dog from the room simply by walking into it.
But they are also awesome.
Children have not yet learned that most of the things they think about, dream of, long for, and believe to be true are impossible or unlikely.
They do not worry about whether they can justify those thoughts, hopes, dreams, or beliefs — they simply get up each day and race their way through it.
In my office at the gallery where I work, I have a coffee mug with the image of Bold Innocence (above) on it — I hold this out at various times through the day (if I tip the cup I’m usually pretty good about making sure it’s empty first) and look at the little girl standing at the beach.
And I think, “That’s me.
“I’m that little girl, standing at the edge of the ocean, imagining Japan, or China, or some part of Asia, clear at the end of it, and convinced that somehow, I can walk over those waves and get there.”
Like a child, I don’t have to justify how what I say or think will come true, but what I do want to do, try to do, am continuing to (re)learn how to do is to trust as I once did as a child.
Only now, instead of trusting the grown-ups in my life (because, somehow, I grew into one of those myself), I seek to trust God, my Father, and Christ, the first-born of a whole family of us, as the family members who look after me, care for me, teach me, protect me, and listen to me as I express to them my thoughts, hopes, dreams, and beliefs.
Like my good earthly parents, who never ever laughed at any of the things I shared with them in my childish innocence, our good Father and our kind Elder Brother listen, and love. They recognize the vulnerability and innocence of a child, and they protect that.
Christ repeatedly taught his disciples (which include us) to be as children, and He really didn’t say anything without a good reason. It’s worth spending time thinking about those words, watching the way children act and think and trust, and — in a flip flop of what we think of as normal — imitating them, instead of always the other way around.