Do you remember how exciting and wonderful life seemed as a child? I grew up in the Windy City. Still to this day, the humming of trucks, the high pitch of squeaking breaks, the laughter of neighbors, and the honking of car horns comfort me (strange, I know). I even find delight in old, musty, run down “ma and pa” shops and the smell of exhaust. This was all beautiful to me as a child.
My mother was a single mom and she worked two jobs while going to college to become an architect. We didn’t have much, but I never knew it. I spent a lot of time at my grandma’s and great-grandma’s apartment. Grandma Kay had magical toys. In reality, they were just old barbie dolls and a worn out plastic airplane, but in my eyes, they were priceless. I would be whisked away into the far away lands of my imagination for hours. When I would see my great-grandma, she would always let me take one gumdrop out of her crystal bowl; the red ones were my favorite. I would savor each single gumdrop. It felt like a drop of heaven was deposited into my mouth and it always filled my heart with joy.
As a child, I had an appreciation and excitement for each and every day. I loved each moment of everyday life and found even the simplest of things beautiful. I was also very content with that which I had. I remember the feeling of complete rest and security in my mother’s arms. I didn’t have a care in he world if I was in her embrace. My faith in the words of those I trusted was flawless and pure, without an inkling of doubt.
I’m not sure what changed. As the years went by, I began to become blind to the beautiful things of everyday life. As a result, joy was more distant, as was a thankful heart. The cares of the world clouded the beauty before me and my heart was slowly hardened to the glory of the Lord that fills the earth.
Doesn’t it stand to reason that Christians should be the happiest people on earth, full of peace and appreciation for all the gifts God has given? This hasn’t been the case in most of my adult life, but that has changed. I recently found myself praying a deep heart felt prayer…. “Lord, grant me childlike faith.” I cannot put into words what happened as a result of that prayer, but I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it was granted to me. It was as if scales fell from my eyes and I began to see beauty everywhere.
When the grace of God opened my eyes to beauty, I found myself delighting in the slightest breeze, hearing the songbird, gazing upon various shapes in the clouds, laughing with my children, playing with kittens, and breathing in deeply the fresh outside air. I even started to take pictures again, something I used to be passionate about.
My heart is beginning to take residence in the here and now instead of the yesterday and tomorrow. Even though Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, He also said, “Before Abraham was….. I Am!!!” Wow! Our God is the God of NOW. I choose to live in the beauty of the moment with Him. I choose to practice His presence. I open my eyes to His faithfulness in all that I do. This is true beauty, this is childlike faith.
“The beauty that is seen is partly in the one who sees it.” -Christian Bovee