Seeing through their eyes

“I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”  Matthew 18:3

My mother would sometimes say in her seventies that she was still a little girl on the inside. Some of my teachers I could not imagine ever being young but others had that wonderful capacity to come alongside me and to see the world through my eyes as a child or young person.

One of my favourite photos of my wife Val shows her with a little girl in her arms and they are watching a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis. Both look with total fascination at what is happening before their eyes, little Mady seeing it for the very first time and Val seeing it as if for the first time as she draw’s Mady’s attention to details of the unfolding scene.

In our verse today, Jesus is calling us to change and become like little children so that we will enter God’s kingdom. Do we not as teachers also not need to regain something of that childlike freshness, wonder and trust if we are to see things in the Father’s world again as if for the first time and help others to truly see them for the first time?

Poet William Blake wrote, “To see a world in a grain of sand, / And a heaven in a wild flower, / Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, / And eternity in an hour.”[1]

Nor is this necessarily a matter of progression, it may also require change, an about-turn, a conversion, a conscious effort on our part to see things differently, to become like little children or the young people that we seek to teach. What once was wonderful and new can sadly have become to us so ordinary and familiar. If we change, we may find the holy in the humdrum, the miraculous in the mundane and, as they look with us, so also may our students.

God of wonders beyond our galaxy, the universe declares your majesty! Help me to see it with fresh eyes and to help others to do so too. Amen.

[1] William Blake, Auguries of Innocence.