This morning I’m going to stick with the “learning from the children” theme from yesterday’s post.
Some of the “post-posting” discussion centered around the idea that we teach children, and the concern was aired that teaching comes along with the risk of indoctrination. That’s a useful discussion, but what I’m more interested in today is the part about what we can learn from children. Personally, I’ve found that hanging out with kids involves as much learning as teaching – and most especially when I have held the role of “leader” or “teacher.”
I came across the following story some years back; I’ve repeated it several times, but I don’t think I’ve shared in this blog. The story goes like this:
Shortly after a couple brought child-number-two home from the hospital, their daughter – just four or five years old – kept repeating the same request: “I want to talk to the baby. But I need to be by myself.”
The parents, concerned about sibling jealously, and safety, said “No, not by yourself.”
But the little girl was insistent. Finally, the parents relented, but left the door open a crack so they could hear everything and be in a position to intervene.
Their daughter climbed on a stool, leaned into the crib, and looked seriously into the baby’s face. This is what her parents heard:
“I love you baby Joe. Would you please tell me everything about God – I’m beginning to forget.”
MUTUAL LEARNING: I believe several things go on in a home where faith in God is practiced and passed on to the next generation. I believe that children bring the raw material of a natural, divinely implanted, spiritual connection to God, and then I believe that parents (and the faith-community) help to nurture that natural faith in the context of living out the joy and the blessings of the Gospel of Love.
Additionally, to the extent that we are open to the Spirit, we adults have the opportunity to learn about God from the children, through the purity of their witness, young hearts that are open and uninhibited by the persistent practice of values and priorities that separate us from the knowledge of God.
And so, for my video-post today, I’m sharing the arrangement of “Jesus Loves Me This I Know“ that I wrote for the memorial service when my niece, Hannah (and her husband, Andrew), lost their yet-to-be-born child, Audrey Rose, a couple of years back, a child who – I believe – already knew God.
Sometimes the simple, uncluttered faith of a child brings me back to the heart of the reality God wants me understand - DEREK