Saturday, January 16, 2016

Conversation With a Four-Year-Old

January 16, 2016

Last night as the older grandkids were engaged in a raucous game of spoons, little Gemma asked Linda if Beepa would just sit down and talk with her, so I did. The two of us went into the back room and sat by the fire just talking. I asked her what she wanted to talk about and she began telling me about their new kitten. As I asked questions, she answered and volunteered conversation of her own punctuated with animated gestures and ever-changing facial expression. We talked for about twenty minutes, me sitting in my chair by the fire, and her sitting Indian-style in Linda's chair as she expanded my horizons through the eyes of a four-year-old child. It's no wonder that Jesus said if we want to see the kingdom of God we must become like little children. As childhood recedes, we grow more and more distant from our ability to experience the wonder of life. Experiences, objects, and even people become so ordinary that what used to amaze us scarcely elicits a grunt of appreciation.

When I inadvertently referred to her kitten as "he," I was immediately corrected with more than a little indication of disbelief that I would forget such an important fact. At four years of age, she spoke with simple certainty of that which lay within her circle of experience, blissfully unaware of a world filled with violence, tragedy, of good and evil on a cosmic scale. She knows nothing of philosophy or politics, of wasting disease or desperate poverty. She talked freely within the safe circle of love that protects and guides, but most importantly, listens to the heart so life can spring forth in ever growing glory. I was given twenty minutes in which I was invited to glimpse the glory of God in the soul of a child. And what a gift it was! Thank you, Gemma, and thank you, God.

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