Unless you Become Like Little Children or a Frog


frog2Children are delightful because they are not self-conscious and they really don’t worry too much about their appearance. Little people are too busy exploring the world and having fun just being themselves.

Thomas Merton, a Trappist Monk,  once wrote that frogs and trees are holy because they simply are who they are called to be by God, without masks or false personas. Little children are also simply who they are. No wonder Christ said,

“Unless you become like a little child, you cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

An amusing story illustrates this insight into children.

One visit from Grandma Jean and Grandpa Ron occurred when Jean and Ruth were about four and five years old. Grandma apply a touch of make-up each morning and my little girls were fascinated because they had never seen anything like it. I wasn’t interested in make-up in those days and frankly there wasn’t time anyway; I was lucky if I managed to brush my teeth and throw some real clothes on by noon.

Finally, after a few mornings of watching the longing on her granddaughters’ faces, my mom asked, “Would you like me to give the two of you a make-over?”

Jean and Ruth were almost too thrilled to sit still as Grandma applied a light coat of lipstick, mascara, blush and eyeshadow. The results delighted my mother; the little girls looked like they could have posed for a photo shoot. She called me over to enjoy the results and of course I was pleasantly surprised. The idea of actual wearing make-up tickled both girls and they glowed with the admiration we showered on them.

“Well”, my mom asked with pride, “Would you like to see what you look like now?”

“No thanks, Grandma.”, answered Jean, “We know what we look like.”

Off they skipped to play outside.

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