We currently have five grandchildren, all under seven years old. They have taught me many things - especially about myself. Maybe the biggest is that when they ask me a question I tend to answer it by drawing on my years of experience. I tend to answer it as clearly and completely as I can; and I tend to answer it in my most “school teacher-ish” manner. In other words, consciously or unconsciously I try to answer it by showing how much I know.
What I’ve learned is that this is not what they want. They lose interest in getting an answer unless it is formed in the shortest, simplest terms. If one of them asks me why I like jazz I light up and launch into a sermon about musical freedom, spontaneity, improvisation, and creativity, etc. This is meaningless to them. But if I say, “It’s happy music – fun music!” They get it. The same thing goes when answering their questions about God, prayer, or church. The answers must be short and simple.
Actually, when you come to think about it, even when we’ve got our grown-up adult-hats on we appreciate short, concise answers – just like kids. Maybe this is why You held such a special place for the simplicity of little children. Maybe that childish aura of wonder and simplicity is a desirable trait in a person of any age. Why does it not strike us as obvious that Your affinity in Your public life for the poor and for children has a special meaning for those of us who wish to grow closer to You? It says a great deal about living simply and thinking simply. In what You wanted to share with us about life there is a message about simplicity: “Let the little children come to Me.” “Let your answers be ‘yes’ or ‘no’.” Nothing more is really needed.