“There breathes not a breath…”
Three of my favorite devotional authors loved and were loved by children: Amy Carmichael, George MacDonald and Oswald Chambers. They seemed to understand life from a child’s point of view.
I want to be a child forever! I haven’t always felt this way. When I turned 50, about 20 years ago, I began seizing every opportunity I could to enjoy childhood. Sometimes the feelings of joy were so intense I burst into tears. Where were these feelings when I was growing up? They hadn’t gone away. I think they stayed in hiding until it was safe to come out and play!
Even today being a child feels new, exciting and even a little unnerving. I try not to make a total fool of myself. Nonetheless, show me an activity designed for children, and I can’t resist at least looking, if not joining in the fun.
Last week I discovered this poem by George MacDonald. I couldn’t stop reading it silently and out loud. Today is a great day to enjoy it. Better yet, try reading it to a child you love. Or to yourself.
Lessons for a Child
There breathes not a breath of the morning air
But the spirit of Love is moving there;
Not a trembling leaf on the shadowy tree
Mingles with thousands in harmony;
But the Spirit of God doth make the sound,
And the thoughts of the insect that creepeth around.
And the sunshiny butterflies come and go,
Like beautiful thoughts moving to and fro:
And not a wave of their busy wings
Is unknown to the Spirit that moveth all things.
And the long-mantled moths, that sleep at noon,
And dance in the light of the mystic moon–
All have one being that loves them all;
Not a fly in the spider’s web can fall,
But He cares for the spider, and cares for the fly;
And He cares for each little child’s smile or sigh.
How it can be, I cannot know;
He is wiser than I; and it must be so.
George MacDonald, in Poems (1857), later released as A Hidden Life in Poetical Works of George MacDonald Vol. 1 (1893)
© Elouise Renich Fraser, 18 January 2015