Thursday, August 29, 2013

A little child shall lead them

"Madonna Child John" by Brian Kershisnik

I sat on the front porch contemplating the songlessness of entropy, the way the weeds creep and crush and encroach on my garden, my lawn, my flowerbed; the way the messes multiply and replenish. There’s a certain dark miracle there in the relentless march of chaos and mayhem. It sinks into the soul sometimes, too.

I looked up to see the stumbling, toddling, mad amble of my beautifully fat fourth-born making her way across the grass, barefoot as a discalced Carmelite, holding the hands of her two oldest siblings who gazed at her with reverent attentiveness. This small child has oceans in her blue eyes. There are constellations and congregations of solemn clouds swirling behind her piercing glance. She communicates much without words. There are worlds in her seeric eyes.

My third-born son followed behind the procession, bent toward the small prophetess. Ellie crouched at the edge of the green lawn to examine a rock. She made a wondering sound. Lydia, Emerson, and Oliver all joined her in her genuflection toward the stone. They each touched it in turn with gentle affection. Then Ellie shot up and pointed excitedly. The neighbor dog had come wandering into her consciousness. The children admired with her. She bent for a snail. They dropped to their knees. And I wanted to join them. Isaiah says that in the Millennium, when there is peace among all creatures, when the wolf and the lamb bound recklessly and joyously united down the grassy slopes and the lion and the ox share a communal feast of straw, that a little child shall lead them. I think it was Boyd K. Packer who said that every time a child is born the world is renewed in innocence.

This small baby comes angling toward me with her dimpled smile and her wry laugh and her knowing, ancient eyes, carrying something that looks like a bag full of translucent shards of colored light, and I think that this is what it will take for the world to be born again. We will have to trust to the eyes of a little child to walk into the new country of wonder and awe and magic that God has in His infinite generosity and imagination prepared for us. We will have to become such astonished, bright-eyed creatures ourselves. And I think I will like that world, too.


  1. Very eloquent! Thank you for sharing.

  2. My favorite little entourage. Thanks for capturing it.