Monday, April 14, 2014

The Substance of Things Not Seen

We aren't really so far removed from childhood that we can't recall the wonder, are we?

Can you step back in your misty memory and recall some of the fantastic imaginings of your childhood, some of the absolutely unbelievable things you used to unhesitatingly believe? There really was a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, a jolly old man in a red suit that slid down the chimney, and a monster under the bed, wasn't there? In those magical days, the adults in our lives really could do anything, our nighttime dreams weren't unreal impossible jumbles of daytime events, and we had no trouble believing that Peter Pan could fly. A princess with glass slippers and coach from a pumpkin, Goliath felled by a boy's sling, wardrobes that led to Narnia, and babies hidden in the bull-rushes were all the same to us.

I pondered this when I read this insightful quote of one of my favorite commentators on childhood days regarding the nature of the faith of children:

"...But how ready we are to conclude that children cannot be expected to understand spiritual things. Our own grasp of the things of the Spirit is all too lax, and how can we expect that the child's feeble intelligence can apprehend the highest mysteries of our being? But here we are altogether wrong. It is with the advance of years that a materialistic temper settles upon us. But the children live in the light of the morning-land. The spirit-world has no mysteries for them; that parable and travesty of the spirit-world, the fairy-world, where all things are possible, is it not their favourite dwelling-place? And fairy-tales are so dear to children because their spirits fret against the hard and narrow limitations of time and place and substance; they cannot breathe freely in a material world. Think what the vision of God should be to the little child already peering wistfully through the bars of his prison-house. Not a far-off God, a cold abstraction, but a warm, breathing, spiritual Presence about his path and about his bed--a Presence in which he recognises protection and tenderness in darkness and danger, towards which he rushes as the timid child to hide his face in his mother's skirts.
"Children can believe in fairies because they haven't yet learned to disregard what can't be seen, like adults often have. Children can see everyday, mundane things of the world as magical wonders; even specks of dust in a ray of sunshine streaming through a window seem magical, sparkly, and enchanting..." (Parents and Children by Charlotte Mason)

No wonder Jesus begged us to have faith as a little child and rebuked those narrow-minded disciples to "forbid them not."

As this most glorious season of spring penetrates our winter hearts yet again and we celebrate the indescribable mystery, that wondrous reality of the resurrection of our Lord, let us step back into childhood's time, into the believing time.

I remember feeling no particular amazement in the risen Lord Jesus - that was no special feat for Him, but that mammoth stone, now how in the world did that manage to roll away so we could see the angel inside the empty tomb? In my childish heart, I scoffed at Thomas and his need for anatomical proof, but my mouth watered when Jesus broke the bread for the men on the road to Emmaus. Of course Jesus had risen from the dead. How else could He be everywhere at once? He walked on water, brought Lazarus back to be held and kissed again, made blind men see. Rise from the dead to reign at the right hand of God the Father - why not?

They don't need convincing. They need parents who see things as they do.

For the joy of living,



  1. I absolutely loved this -- "They don't need convincing. They need parents who see things as they do." A wonderful post!

  2. Thank you. The faith of children will always surpass mine.

  3. Bless you, Liz, for this post. My children teach me so much about God. May I have the eyes to see as they do.

    1. Thank you, Kimberly. I am convicted by these ideas all the time.