“…there is within our inner community not only a wounded child, but a child of glory… the one who reflects the creativity, sensitivity, and vibrant imagination of the Love which is our maker and mother. The enemy of human nature wants to destroy this child of glory within us, just as Herod wanted to destroy Mary’s child” in her womb.
This is a vivid image. It stops one in her tracks to think that the way we deaden the little child within us is akin to the slaughter of the Holy Innocents of Bethlehem.
Sit with that for a moment. Imagine “Rachel weeping over her children” (Jeremiah 31:15-17, a reading for the Feast of the Holy Innocents.) Now picture Jesus, as a mother hen, leaning over you. Is he weeping or laughing? Does he find a dour adult instead of, as Smith writes:
The child of the future
The child of imagination and play
The child of wonder
As I also travel this Lent with Cole Arthur Riley’s memoir of embodied theology, I realize how important this child is. She [The Child] is meant to be a guide and our goal.
This last Snday, a little girl served as the crucifer at a small church I visited. She so reverently attended to her task. But, at the end of the service the priest announced to us what the girl had been brimming for us all to know. There was a ladybug on the altar.
“AND SHE IS STILL ALIVE,” exclaimed the girl.
Ladybug and congregation alike received the benediction and the little girl recessed with the insect held delicately on her thumb in its victory march to freedom, and the cross dragging/hitching along her side.
At first it made me wince to see that cross… until I saw the little girl herself and remembered my own delight at finding a bell to ring in the darkness of an unknown town the night before… Then I felt joy to watch her and humility at my own momentary uptightness.
a little child will lead them (Isaiah).
Where is she in you? Do not slaughter her. She is your glory.
-the Rev. adwoa Wilson