Friday, August 25, 2006

What is a child?

Here's a poem I read some years ago. I've just come across it again in my summer reading, and I thought I'd reproduce it for the benefit of my readership... i.e. for all two of you!!!

What is a child? It's worthwhile being sure,
For their outlook - not ours - he called mature...
Describe a child, then. Simple? Passive? Gentle?
A widespread view, but not one that's parental!
Yes, partly true - but most sentimental.
Those who've had children know they're pioneers,
Tireless seekers hungry for ideas,
Questioners, ready to learn and solve and find,
Committed, energetic, quick of mind,
They trust, they love, but don't use love or trust
As an excuse to sit, grow dull and rust...
If their imaginations are more clear
Than ours, is it not possible they hear?
More clearly too? Are spiritually quicker
Than many a teacher, youth leader or vicar?
May they not hear the voice of God and shout it,
While we get on quite nicely, thanks, without it?
They may not have the knowledge we possess,
So the Holy Spirit has to shift much less
In terms of intellectual debris
Than perhaps he might with you. Or you.
Or me.

From the video Children in the Way, NS/CHP, 1988. Cited in Dallow, G. (2002) Touching the Future, Oxford: The Bible Reading Fellowship, p. 82.


My daughter, Lorna, and her children have just spent a fortnight with us in Madrid. One of the highlights of their visit was the chance for us all to witness the joyful interaction of our two youngest grandchildren, Raúl (on the left of the photo) and Claudia (on the right). They are both about 18 months old.