The Fatherhood Chronicles XCIV

The Faith of a Little Child

But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “Let alone the little children to come to Me, and cease hindering them; for of such is the kingdom of God. (Luke 18:16)

I continue to be amazed at the evidences of my daughter Sofie’s faith.

Saturday night, I was sitting at the computer and Anna was folding some laundry. Sofie was moving about playing and imagining all sorts of characters and stories. (She has a vivid imagination. Just this morning she pointed out to me, in our living room, no less, an apple tree with George the Monkey, aka Curious George, in it.) Anna and I were talking about daily stuff and hadn’t noticed that Sofie had walked over, stood in front of the icons, and began singing and making the sign of the Cross over herself, and then bowing.

It sounded a bit like: “Jeeeeesus Cry [cross, bow] . . . Jeeeesus Cry [cross, bow]” and there were some “All-looo-yah’s” and “Hoooooly’s” (for the Trisagion) thrown in as well. She did this for something like five minutes as Anna and I watched. She was wholly absorbed in her prayers and singing, completely oblivious to Anna and me as we watched with ever-expanding grins. After a bit, she noticed the silence and our attention and turned to us and grinned self-consciously.

I told her how pretty that was and how proud we were of her saying prayers to Jesus.

I turned to my wife and said, “She knows how to praise Jesus. Yep. She’s ready to be baptized.”

I am amazed by all this, not because I have any skepticism (now) about Sofie and her ability to exercise faith according to her age and development, but because I come from a Restoration Movement background that equated faith with intellectual understanding. Such a view of faith is perfectly understandable if one starts with Enlightenment presuppositions. But then, those presuppositions are not exactly Gospel presuppositions. No, when it comes to faith, the example set by our Lord is that of a child.

Sofie, God’s Wisdom to us, is revealing to me day by day why that is the case.