Day 12: Seeing Like a Child


Since I was going to have the joy of spending my weekend with some good friends and their young children, I chose to relate day twelve’s selection in My 30-day Challenge to the one couple’s very active and curious toddler age son. So often when we’re with children, we are preoccupied with taking care of their needs, enjoying their company or just keeping them out of trouble, and we miss out on experiencing a marvelous gift that they can share with us: seeing, precisely, through the eyes of a child.

As adults, who’ve lived for many years, we have experienced innumerable situations, visited a multitude of places, and can easily lose our sense of wonder. It happens to me here in Europe, a continent so rich in history and culture. I’ll catch myself thinking, “Yep, that’s another Medieval castle” or “Oh, one more city that dates back to the 7th century”. I can slip into a state of amazement overdose in which I struggle with continuing to be in awe of the beauty and wonder that constantly surrounds me.

So I thought it would be fun this weekend to really take notice of how a toddler views things. This particular little guy was coming to our house for the first time, so everything would be completely new to him. What would strike his fancy? Which aspects would appear most curious, alarming or fascinating. I was ready to observe and try to see the world to which I’ve grown so accustomed, through his two-year-old lenses. And maybe learn a few things about how I might better experience it. What did I discover?


1. Almost everything
is wonderful
and deserves
to be explored!
dogs’ nostrils,
whatever Mom and Dad are eating,
and especially
they lead to places.
Interesting places.
And anything
that stands in your way
is merely
a temporary obstacle
to be surmounted
with cleverness and charm.


2. Feelings are paramount and should be communicated immediately, making generous use of facial and vocal expression. If necessary, also flail arms and legs.



3. When the nervous, old lady dog snaps at you and you’re frightened; when you’re tired or hungry or in need of help, or if everything just begins to feel a bit overwhelming, the best place to be is in your Daddy’s arms.

4. And finally, but perhaps most importantly, never turn down the opportunity to jump on a bed. It just might be your last. Oh, and don’t forget to giggle. Because everything is a little more fun when you’re giggling.

And Jesus said:
“Truly I tell you,
unless you change
and become like little children,
you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

Therefore, whoever takes
the lowly position of this child
is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

And whoever welcomes
one such child in my name
welcomes me.
Matthew 18:3-5





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