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Becoming a Child

September 19, 2011

Being a child is being fresh to a world that is fresh to you. Everywhere is wonderment and food for thought. No wonder children are so filled with great questions like why is blue and where do shadows go? Each day offers another chance to learn new things.  Each night brings a whole new list of questions like where is there and who are they and why are my eyes blue? The mind of a child sees only beauty until it is taught otherwise, feels only love until it is treated otherwise knows only trust until that trust is abused.

— Unknown


In Haiti I have stars in my eyes each night.  Somewhere along the line someone glued a generous sprinkling of phosphorescent stars to my bedroom ceiling.  You know the ones, those glow in the dark plastic things people put in their kids rooms.  The effect of these stars combined with my myopic vision is amazing!  It really looks to me as if I am lying under the night sky.  Add to this the sound of the waves, the smell of the night air and the chirp of crickets and I am in heaven.  I love it!  There’s still a lot of kid in me and I thank God for that.

Haiti is an olfactory smorgasbord.  The air here is alive with odors – the earthy pungency of rotting vegetation, the tempting aroma of savory food blended with the slight bitterness of smoke from charcoal cooking fires, the sour gaminess of sweat, the hint of salt from the sea, the sweet promise of approaching rain, the persistent fragrance of frangipani.  It’s such a far cry from the sterility we create in Canada with our zeal for a scent-free environment.

Haiti is a delight for sole-ful people.  I go barefoot most of the time, as do many people here.  I love the feel of the earth under my feet, the warmth, the intimate connectedness to creation it evokes.  I love walking barefoot in the rain, the squishiness of mud oozing up between my toes, the refreshing coolness of the puddles. Toes provide traction and feet don’t slip in the mud as much as shoes do.  Wading in streams, bracing against the flow, feeling my way over the rocks, is glorious.  The soft freshness of grass is a balm.  The sensation of the surf washing over my feet and the sand between my toes as I walk along the ocean is almost sacred.  For me going barefoot is liberating, breaking down another of society’s “shoulds.”  My feet may be dirty all the time, but they don’t sweat or smell.  And bare feet are much easier to clean and dry than shoes.

I’ve been caught more than once here stalking lizards, searching for shells and special rocks on the beach, skipping stones on the water, deliberately getting soaked in the rain.

I am on a journey to become a child before my God, to know Him as a child knows a loving Father, to know the joy and delight and wonder of His presence.  I want to feel the love and the pride a child feels when he says, “This is my Dad!”  He is helping me strip away the trappings of adulthood that stand in my way.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. kim evans permalink
    September 19, 2011 11:52 pm

    l too have those stars and love them…
    May l suggest you find a sheet of glow paper, cut out the words “l love you” and stick them up too.
    Then you have a message from our Dad ever night as you go to sleep no matter what mood you’re in!

  2. Darren Bezanson permalink
    September 21, 2011 12:59 pm

    Barry, Love this post, and wish we could all find ourselves seeking the inner child. Living in a land we consider free, is very weighty most days, and our burders keep us from truly experiencing the joy of being a child before God. Thank you for this post it has brought a lot of joy into my day!!!


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