Teach me, my little one, for your wisdom far exceeds my own.
I found myself thinking this very thought while on vacation this past weekend as I watched my one year old baby girl, my peacemaker, play in a kid’s museum in NW Arkansas called Amazeum.
Odd place to contemplate the mysteries of God, I know, but then again is there a wrong place?
KenleyAnn and I were on the floor exploring our own little world together in the infants section of the museum. At the time, the whole world disappeared and only the two of us existed. At least, that is how it felt as the two of us were lost in hyper-focus to one another. I gazed mesmerized at my daughter as she explored the world around us…wooden blocks shaped like pets, puppets shaped like animals, pillows shaped like rocks, textures of all kinds, and different levels to climb up and down. Throughout her exploration she would stop what she is doing, look me in the eyes with her beautiful, stunning blue eyes, and smirk her beautiful little smile that I have come to know and cherish.
A fascinating thing about babies is that even though they cannot speak, they sure as heck know how to use body language, facial expressions, and their eyes to communicate ideas, thoughts, and expressions.
The more KenleyAnn would look me in the eyes, the more she drew me into her world. When I was lucky, she would giggle, and I would respond with a tickle fight and a kissfest. The love permeating between the two of us filled us up, penetrated us deeply, and served to only draw us closer into one another.
I call KenleyAnn my peacekeeper because no one else in my life can take all the ugly away in an instant with a hug and kiss. When I embrace her, I know that nothing else trivial matters and I find the strength to release what weighs heavy upon me.
This time, however, she served as a reminder of what it means to be a child of God. As the two of us played in the museum, I recalled the moment when Christ took a child, placed the child before a crowd, and announced that we must be like children to live in His Kingdom.
I must confess before I had children I really had no idea what Christ was talking about, but it became much clearer with KenleyAnn this day in the museum.
My baby girl has no doubt that if she needs me I am there – to hold, feed, clothe, comfort, encourage, kiss, snuggle, cherish, love. So, too, must we be with our Heavenly Father. Christ said that if even the wicked are good to their children how much more our Father in Heaven is to us? Babies have exemplary trust in their parents to provide for them. We must have trust in God, His Will for us, and in His True Love.
Further, babies have simple desires: food, warmth, water, love. You can spend an entire day filling a baby’s Love Tank just by spending time with her, keeping her fed, and keeping her warm. They have uncomplicated and simple needs with little to no room for non-essential frivolities. So, too, is our responsibility to our God. The same ways in which we love our families (the things we do), we should do for/with God: Spend time together (adoration and prayer), hold each other (Eucharist), trust and confide (faith), speak to each other with Love (more prayer and Charity).
Hope: children have hope, more hope than I have ever seen. It’s beyond logic or common sense. Hope in the good of their parents and playmates they meet for the first time at a playground; hope in the good that life brings freely. Again, so too, must we be with our God – hoping in all of His Promises as we live our lives trusting in His Will.
One last thought: as Love poured out between me and my daughter, freely exchanging that Love with one another, I remembered that my relationship with KenleyAnn is a mirror of the relationship of the Father and the Son. Through our families, we are granted the Grace to experience that Divine Mystery of the Trinity. I am not sure that anything else that God has taught me is more humbling than to know that we are not only Loved, but invited to share in that Love, and graced with the ability to replicate it.
Lord, give me the hope of a child, the trust of a baby, and a simple life lived for you and others.
Thank you, my dear sweet KenleyAnn for the lesson you helped God to teach me.