the mouths of babes
What do children have that we adults are missing? First of all, they have a capacity for wonder and innocent joy, which in adults is tainted by cynicism and sinfulness. Secondly, they are capable of complete trust, which ends up being choked by the thorns of adulthood. And thirdly, they possess absolute humility. These childlike characteristics— wonder, joy, faith, humility— should be our response to the Nativity.
Meditations for Advent; Preparing for Christ’s Birth
This icon of “Let the Children Come To Me” was given to me from my mom (in law) just the other day… .
Several years ago – maybe in 2014 – our homeschool group met the iconographer who was writing this very icon (this is a replica). At the time it was a huge canvas work in progress hanging on the wall of a building at our local monastery.
The iconographer gave our kids a great talk about iconography and this particular icon.
I’ll never forget when my youngest daughter who was 8 or 9 years old at the time – raised her hand and said “I don’t have a question – it’s just that I noticed that the people in icons never smile with their mouths – but they always smile with their eyes.”
This icon brought with it a wonderful memory and a good word back to me and I am truly grateful for the God timing of it all.
A few years prior I had two encounters with homeless people, who touched me very deeply, not only with their merciful words of abundant blessing, but with also the depth of their eyes – overwhelming me with the presence of the Love of God. At the time I had wanted to stay with them, Ernie and Mariam, for longer than I did.
That Love, which is the thread of Christ binding all humanity can only save the world if we cultivate it in our hearts.
If not now, then when? Why not tend it this season of preparation for the Nativity?