“Child-like” is often the descriptive word instructing us in how to treat one another and how to approach God. (See Matthew 18.) We are told to be like children. Sadly and often our all to human leaders tell us that this means we are to be simple-minded and, well, niave.
But, children are neither simple or stupid. ather, they love freely (unless taught not to) and they hope outrageously (again, unless prevented). Children do not fear imagination or passion, and they openly attach themselves to the ones they love.
In contrast, the adults I know (particularly myself), distrust hope and are wary of passion. I suspect my imagination and doubt the motives of those around me. Well, honestly, I even doubt my own motives.
Fear is a huge factor in all that prevents us from living and loving, whatever faith we may identify with. The instruction to Love everyone without boundaries or judgment, as the cornerstone of the Christian faith, requires us precisely to put away fear, as fear cripples love.
I find this fascinating, because it is not enough (not enough for me anyway) to say to myself, “Stop worrying, and “love” others instead. It will work out.” But I have noticed that, even when terrified, if I try to push a wee bit of space for love to be present as well, love drives out fear. It drives it out, or suffocates it, or mutes it, or something – and there, suddenly, I find my old child-like hope, optimism, and affectionate abandonment.
If someone tells you to love this person but not that one, or care for this over another, then they do not speak truth. We are here to care for this world with passion and affection, and let God sort out any other details later.
Be like a child: fearless, hopeful, and full of passion, love, and dreams.