My granddaughter has recently had her first birthday. What a gift she has been to us, bringing such love, joy, and delight to our lives. As a grandparent, I am having a different experience watching my grandchild grow and develop than I did watching and participating in my own children’s growth and development. As a grandparent, I am not caught up in all of the daily responsibilities, and nor do I see my grandchild every day and all day. So when I am with her, I am really present to her, noticing her every new development, every new moment of love and connection. There are some benefits and wisdom that can come with getting older!
In fact, my granddaughter has become my new spiritual director! She is teaching and reminding me of the power and life-infused present moment. She notices every little thing, and every little thing to her is “wonder-full,” as it should be for me and for all of us. I am full of wonder as I get caught up in her being full of wonder. What a beautiful and life-giving exchange! Being caught up in this wonder draws me into a sense of “awe” in what I am witnessing: a sense of awe at this beautiful life that is new, always emerging, always becoming. The more I allow myself to be full of wonder, and the more I get caught up in the awesomeness of what I am noticing, the more I find myself “trusting” in the evolving of this little life, trusting in the “nature” of the divine life that we are all part of and share in. This wonder, awe, and trust opens me up to the reality of the love that I have for this little life in front of me, and that I am at one with her in this love. The 15th century English mystic Julian of Norwich calls this love process “oneing”— a conscious becoming at-one-with another, every other, and all of creation. “Oneing” is the purpose of our lives!
What our little ones have to teach us in these uncertain times of global political polarization, global warming, global pandemic, global crisis, is to remain grounded in our now. This moment is full of God, full of life, full of love, and has everything we need to move into our next moment with trust and hope. The same is true of the church. The pandemic and its necessary societal restrictions has shaken the foundations of the church as we have known it. Our church is evolving and changing like everything else in the universe. We are not exempt. Yet the Christian community (and every community) is still full of wonder as the divine continues to emerge in the life of people and creation. This wonder should lead us to a renewed sense of awe in the Divine Presence amongst us and as us, inviting us to a whole hearted trust that we are lovingly at one with Christ in our emerging and uncertain tomorrow.