Advent through the eyes of a child

By Leslie Bertucci, NOLA Catholic Parenting

Of all the gifts the Holy Spirit offers us, one of the most overlooked, and perhaps most delightful, is the gift of wonder and awe. Particularly in this season of Advent, it would serve us well to ask God for a fresh outpouring of this gift of childlike wonder.

I witness this gift often in my 2- and 4-year-old grandchildren, who find joy in doing the simplest activities over and over. Things like blowing bubbles through soapy hands; throwing a ball high into the sky, wondering if it will really come down this time; gathering acorns under an oak tree; reading a favorite story or singing a favorite song again and again and again.

As parents, we have the unique opportunity to discover the world anew from our children’s point of view. Seeing life through the toddler eyes of my children and grandchildren, I have often found myself noticing things that I usually take for granted. I am able to see them once again the way I did when I was very young, before I understood the science behind it all.

I recently experienced this while waiting for a tow truck to pick up my son’s car, which had died in a parking lot edged by a forested lot. As I waited, I found my gaze drawn to a single bush, mesmerized by the brilliant arrangement of leaves. I was struck by the fact that, what seemed from a distance to be a chaos of green growth, on closer inspection settled into an orderly pattern of mathematical precision.

Then I noticed a random vine tendril dripping down gracefully from a nearby tree, like a perfectly curved treble clef on a staff of orderly notes, a visual cadence. Soon, a sparrow alighted on the bush, and the symmetrical pattern of his feathers astounded me. And, then the miracle of flight! What a great God we serve who would give this enviable ability to such an insignificant creature. When the tow truck arrived, I had tears in my eyes, still marveling at the ingenious design of God’s creation.

Once we are able to look at the world around us with eyes of childlike wonder, we are ready to see the miracle of the Incarnation with childlike faith – and marvel at the wonder of it!

How can we wrap our minds around the fact that God – infinite, almighty, eternal God – humbles himself to be born a tiny baby, just like us, and is glad to do so? The sweetness of a newborn babe is beyond compare among the wonders of the earth, but this babe, the son of God, knowing what his future holds, that he would give up his very life for love of us  … how can we do anything but bow down and worship?

Lord, during this Advent season, give us eyes to see and hearts to love you.

Leslie Bertucci attended Dominican High School and Loyola University. She has five children and two grandchildren. She has been a catechist, youth minister, retreat leader, homeschool teacher, conference speaker, choir director, worship leader, is co-founder of Sanctifire Youth Group at St. Anselm and leads NoLoudRocks Worship Band with two of her sons. Visit our thrice-weekly blog and new biweekly podcast at www.nolacatholicparenting.org.

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