Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Revealed to the Childlike

Jesus prays in today's Gospel (Luke 10: 21-24) and praises the Father because "although you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned you have revealed them to the childlike." It made me pause and consider what I see as "childlike". Most children confront things head-on, especially their own needs. They tend to say whatever is on their minds and have not yet developed the "filter" that usually prevents us from saying things that others may not deem polite. When children experience a new reality, they often are able to sum up what they see and feel pretty quickly. And children are fairly honest when asked what they think.
These also tend to be the qualities we find on adults who are labelled "childlike". This is usually used in a negative and disparaging way, as if they are somehow less than an adult. Jesus sees a value in this approach, however, especially when dealing with the Father. You see, our relationship with God should not have the hesitation, filter or avoidance that can be part of our relationships with other people. Since God already knows us completely, it is really rather ludicrous that we try to put on a good face for God. That is exactly what the Scribes and Pharisees tried to do ("O God, I thank you that I am not like these others...")
Whenever we try and come to God as if we were "wise and learned", we will invariably be disappointed. God loves us and wants us to love Him. God will take care of us and give us what we need (though not always what we want). God wants us to love others as we love ourselves. If we can approach God in this childlike way, we will come to know Him more and more, as He reveals Himself to us each day.

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