Last Friday I was lucky to be in a family gathering that included a bright and smiling two-year old. A few days later, his cousin, another boy, was born and pictures arrived immediately. As if in a game of show and tell, e-mail came with pictures of another beautiful newborn – this one a girl – and then a party of three – all under 5 years old. Nothing can soften a heart like a baby who is a miracle of whom nothing is expected except presence. Holding a baby provides an inkling of connection with the God of peace and love. Watching toddlers and young children play alone and together is instructive of what Jesus is saying in the gospel this morning. “I give you praise, Father, Lord of heaven and earth,” he says, “for although you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, you have revealed them to the childlike.” (LK 10:21) Unspoiled by “the world” children are willing to approach others honestly, not hiding behind a persona they have constructed in order to fit in. They marvel at the simplest things and can spend hours playing with their toes or the Christmas wrap from a fancy gift that they have yet to explore.
Interpretations of what Jesus meant in his observation vary widely. I’ve noted honesty and wonder, peace and love – qualities that I desire to manifest. What about you? What wisdom have you learned from the children in your life?