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Grandma Simon said that back in the days of the dust bowl on the Kansas farm they did not know they had it so hard. They woke up in the morning and shook the settled dust off off of their blanket and went about the new day, ready to play together and explore. She lost an eye in an accident playing and exploring as a young girl, but they just did what they had to do. Not much self-reflection, self-pity, or self-aggrandizement. They fought and feuded and suffered, but it’s all relative. And her father, great-grandpa always did what he could to help the stranger. Her memories were pleasant as they were shaped through her child eyes.

Thinking back to childhood, what was it that excited you most? Pretty lights? A toy train or doll or fresh new baseball glove? A wrestling match with grandpa? Delicious food treat prepared by Mom? A hug? Through eyes of a child, the sensations come disproportionately with the worldly value because the perceptions are wrapped in delightful dreams. Looking on those same eyes from the outside, those adults around are similarly delighted by seeing the awe and joy of a small child. How much we thrill to see a new human being experience life for the first time.

Cosette’s fascination with the doll is beautiful in itself – “she forgot everything.” Where do I find this sense of awe again? Her first sense of satisfaction in just a gaze is so pure. How can I worship like that?

Of course, soon JVJ will soon have the adult pleasure of watching the child be overjoyed with his gift, but how beautiful is the adoration? And what a sensation to be cultivated in my own heart, holy apart from demandingness! How sad, the life lived without this childish wonder.