A Childlike Spirit
April 20, 2018
”Although My greatness is beyond understanding, I commune only with those who are little. I demand of you a childlike spirit.” Jesus to Saint Faustina (332 of her diary).
This passage in Saint Faustina’s diary jumped off the page at me. When I was a child, 11 or so, I had an experience with God that I’ve always pushed to the back burner. As I reflect on this passage, I look back at what God was teaching me, and why he appeared to me at that moment as he did. I can see more clearly now, though it still frightens me to think I’ve run from it all these years.
My father had just returned from a trip to Ireland. He brought home with him gifts for all the kids and mine was a beautiful pair of Celtic triangle earrings. I adored these earrings and set them on my bedside every evening anxious to wake up and wear them again. One night my mom appeared in my room to tuck me in. She glanced at my bedside table and pointed out that I was missing an earring. I remember her being upset at my lack of responsibility.
She left the room, and I fell on the ground searching desperately for my earring. I looked everywhere. Under my bed, under my bedside table, and even under my pillow. I rubbed my hand around every inch of the floor. Finally, I crawled under my bed and burst into tears. I prayed like never before. I begged God to please do this one favor for me. I was so upset that I let my parents down and lost my favorite earring. I poured out my heart asking Him to help me.
Suddenly, a deep peace came over me. The tears stopped all at once and my heart was calm. I removed myself from under the bed, sat up in confusion, and went to the spot that had appeared to me in the deep peace I felt. I found my earring. It was in my bed frame where it had fallen into a deep corner. I would have never found it on my own.
As a child, I was frightened but filled with joy. I didn’t know how to explain or comprehend what happened. I never heard a voice, I never saw a vision, it was simply in the deep peace of my childlike soul that I felt the answer.
I was overcome with fear that it would never happen again. This beautiful outreach of God actually made me question Him. Had it been a mistake? Am I delusional? Could that have really been God? I asked so many questions until I just pushed it away.
I’ve only told a few people this story. It still seems surreal to me, but I’ve carried it in my heart all these years. Now looking back, I see why God answered that prayer. That simple prayer for a lost earring. It seems so insignificant. But he still answered it. Why?
My heart was pure. I never for one second doubted that God was hearing my prayer. I wasn’t positive he’d come through, but I truly, deeply, sincerely believed that he heard me. I trusted in him with a childlike faith that I have since drowned out with worries and doubts.
This is what Jesus teaches us. It is what He is asking of us. To go back to that place where we believed wholeheartedly in His love. We didn’t doubt. We didn’t worry. We simply trusted in the way only children do. It is so hard now that we’re grown and have experienced pain and suffering.
When I pray now, it is not all trusting. There is hesitation and doubt despite my best efforts to fully trust in Him. I always think back to my experience as a kid. How could I experience that moment and still doubt Him? How do I get back to that childlike spirit?
May He put rest to our endless doubts and worries. May we always remember Him on that cross, and repeat “Jesus, I trust in you.”
“To become a child is to know with a child’s intuition, to see with a child’s vision. To see everything with the amazement of seeing for the first time and with the spontaneous giving of the whole heart that is the unique joy of first love.”