When Linda slid open the mini van door and when Pumpkin the miniture horse stepped out onto the circular driveway in front of the church, I heard a little boy exclaim to his mother as they were walking by on the sidewalk “Look a horse!” And I heard his mother reply quite emphatically “no that’s not a horse, it can’t be.”
Of course it was. And this little boy seeign the truth of the matter, took his mother by the hand and brought her over to see impossibility.
A few minutes later, the toddlers from the Riverside Day Care Center who fill our church with such joy during the weekdays, slowly made their way out to join us. There was one little boy who could not get to Pumpkin’s side fast enough. When Linda gave him a brush to brush Pumpkin’s coat he could not have been more delighted. Every few minutes he would look up from what he was doing at all of us grown ups around him with the most awe struck look of wonderment I have seen in a very long time.
I have been thinking of these children a lot this week and have found myself wondering when is the last time that I felt really awe struck? When was the last time I was filled with the rapture of wonderment?
I wonder if we grown-ups tend to filter experience through a lens of control and competence. I wonder if we go through our days convinced somehow that we will not encounter anything that will surprise or startle us into astonishment. Are we too convinced that there could not possibly be a miniture horse stepping out of the side of a minivan — so convinced are we that we too would have walked right on by if there were not a child to take us by the hand.
On Wednesday evening at the first “Camp Church” at the Hearlson’s we read a child’s book that told the opening creation story in Genesis in language particularly geared to children. We then talked about what we heard new or differently in this version in comparison to the version we usually hear read in church.
Many of us were struck by how in this children’s account, God was absolutely over the moon delighted in and surprise by the unfolding of creation. There was playfulness as God greeted the day and the night, the creatures of the air and of the sea, greated all that came to be with a hearty “Hello!” “Boy are you good!”
As we head out into our summer, my hope and prayer for all of us is that every now and again, we would set down our grown-up competence and control so that like the children with Pumpkin that day, like God every day, we too may be startled into wonderment, and awe struck by delight!