As a little boy opened the big family Bible, something fell out of it: an old leaf that had been pressed in between the pages. “Mamma, look what I found,” he shouted excitedly. “What have you got there?” his mother asked. With astonishment in his voice, the little boy answered: “I think it’s Adam’s underwear.” ~ Unknown
In October, I will be sixty-two years old. There are some days that I feel every minute of those sixty-two years. There are other days that I feel it should be seventy-two or eighty-two. Yet, there are still other days that it feels more like twenty-two. Why? Children.
Children can really keep you on your toes. Children can keep you wondering. Children can keep you young. They have such an open, innocent way of looking at their world that amazes me. Even in the joke above, we can well imagine a child thinking that he found Adam’s underwear. The reason would be quite simple. For years he would have heard about Adam and Eve. He would have heard the story about them eating the fruit of the tree and realizing that they were naked. He would have heard that they clothed themselves with the leaves of the trees. Hence, underwear.
In the same manner of seeing things through the eyes of a child, I have often been called God. Little children often come with their parents for Mass and say, “Hi, God”, to me when I greet them. Their parents tell them they are going to God’s house and I am the person that they see. Therefore, it is natural to call me God.
The minds of children are keen and open and impressionable. The eyes of children see all. The ears of children hear all. They may get things wrong or confused and it becomes our responsibility to inform them of the truth of things. We just need to make sure that we do so in a loving manner. It is never easy to be told that we are wrong, even at a very young age.
Do not laugh at innocent observations. Do not ridicule innocent questions. They are ways in which people can learn the truths of life, the truths of the faith, the truths of the love and goodness of God.
When children ask me questions about the faith, it gives me the opportunity to think about new ways to explain the mystery of God. I hope it helps them to come to know God better. I know that it helps me.
FAITH ACTION: Think about the deep mysteries of the faith that have always had special meaning to you. If possible, share those with family or friends today.