g k chesterton

Fighting Blindness


Little kids bring us back to basics.  My wife and I knew this was coming before we had children, and we haven't been disappointed.  Our Clyde and Haley love stuff.  They can't enough of it.  Every morning when they wake up, their over-sized grins (and body convulsions) shout one thing: let me see more stuff!  Except for them, it's not "stuff."

It's magic.

Toys, Mom's eyes, Dad's grab-able nose, a new book, sun making checkered patterns on the floor, fluttering pages, mallards on the frozen pond -- dreams come true.  And we've discovered that they are right.  Those things are magic, and we had only begun to slowly stop noticing them.  We had grown up.

In Orthodoxy, Chesterton (who loved kids) said this:

The only words that ever satisfied me as describing Nature are the terms used in the fairy books, "charm," "spell," "enchantment." They express the arbitrariness of the fact and its mystery. A tree grows fruit because it is a magic tree. Water runs downhill because it is bewitched. The sun shines because it is bewitched. 

Bewitched by the loving, adventurous hand of God.  Our children will grow and mature.  They will move from arithmetic to calculus and from dependence to independence.  But they must never lose their sense of wonder and observation that they first had as little children.  They will observe more somberly, more deeply -- but always with open eyes for God's countless gifts.

In the midst of grades, registration deadlines, homework, and extracurricular events, this is a fundamental mark of true education: fighting blindness.  Keeping eyes of wonder open.

Grace and Peace, Nate Ahern