“People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them; and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them.”
I wonder how many boys tried to make lavender perfume with their sister and a friend as a child.
At least one.
I remember it clearly. Our friend had a small glass bottle just asking to be used for some mysterious concoction. So we concocted, mysteriously. We went to the garden and picked a large amount of lavender and jammed it into the bottle. Then we thought we would shove some blades of grass in. Chanel No.5 had nothing on us.
The other ingredients are lost in the mist of time, but in the midst of the time it was all very exciting. We topped up the whole thing with water and I think some sugar for what we thought would be a sweet smelling bouquet. We had a dim idea that our labour of love had to infuse. We nodded sagely and agreed to squirrel the bottle in a convenient crack in the wall round the back of the house.
We left it a few weeks, giddy with excitement as to what we would discover. What we found was a foul fermented lavender liqueur, that one whiff of left us very giddy indeed. It was hilariously bad and we soon crying with laughter (or maybe it was just the stench…)
These detours and wrong turns are a key part of the riot of growing up. Children are refreshingly inventive and uninhibited. We may not have created a sweet smelling fragrance pleasing to the Lord, but we had fun and we were learning about life. The Kingdom of God is going to be counter-intuitive to some of the street smarts we have developed to cope with a fractured world, as Jesus argues in the Gospels, the Kingdom will require us to have the offbeat inquisitive logic of children.
Help us keep the curiosity of childhood,
to live life as the inquisitive souls
you designed us to be.
Disturb us when we are comfortable
and give us new adventures.