What a gift it is to marvel at creation. As my fingers tap out letters onto the computer screen right now, a summer breeze is drifting through my window, and the birds are singing sweetly their evening prayers to God.
Morning mists, sun-drenched hay fields, the smell of honey-suckle and fresh mown grass- these gifts God gives are worthy of our notice and can lead us up into praise and thanksgiving. One moment of pause on our part can lead to a complete attitude shift for hours!
And of course, the most glorious wonder of all creation that God has given is the human person. From relationships here, we can love, share, learn, and grow. And babies are perhaps our best teachers. G. K. Chesterton writes in his essay called, In Defense of Baby Worship,
“The most unfathomable schools and sages have never attained to the gravity which dwells in the eyes of a baby of three months old. It is the gravity of astonishment at the universe, and astonishment at the universe is not mysticism, but a transcendent common-sense.”
If we can subdue our passions for speed and for activity long enough, a baby can lift us into great joy and praise. This is precisely what Chesterton means as he continues,
“But the influence of children goes further than its first trifling effort of remaking heaven and earth. It forces us actually to remodel our conduct in accordance with this revolutionary theory of the marvellousness of all things.”
Revolutionary? It is too bad it’s true. Why is it that we must remind ourselves that God is all loving and giving- that He does have plans to prosper us and defend us. We work against thoughts of despair and fear constantly, when He holds all things in the palm of His Hand. “Pray, hope, and don’t worry,” Padre Pio often said. I believe he understood like a child. With reckless abandon, and with a heart full of trust, he knew he would be delivered from any evil.
And so let us plan on a little baby worship this summer. Let us marvel as moms and thank God for their beauty. And if your children are older, there is still so much beauty to behold if we dare to look deeply and see them in ever new ways. It is this awe (fear) that Chesterton speaks of again, one that leads us to reverence of a son or daughter in Christ.
“The very smallness of children makes it possible to regard them as marvels; we seem to be dealing with a new race, only to be seen through a microscope. I doubt if anyone of any tenderness or imagination can see the hand of a child and not be a little frightened of it.”
Copyright 2012 Cynthia Ann Costello