Welcome to August 2014 “In Word & Image” at The Writer’s Reverie!
Each week I explore monthly themes using Scripture combined with a visual and a devotional thought!
Ruminate with me.
Be inspired in your heart.
Be captivated by His beauty.
Be enriched in the timeless treasury of His gifts.
Be challenged to go forth with purpose and live for Him.
AUGUST THEME: As Little Children
Leading the Way . . .
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,
The leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
The calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little child shall lead them.
Isaiah 11:6 NKJV
I have had the above framed print hanging in my home for years. I don’t even remember where or when I got it. There is a glorious sense of comfort and peace that surrounds me when I take in all the details the artist, Edward Hicks, put into this illustration of Isaiah’s verse. It’s a vision of a time when Jesus will be reigning in the new earth with all things restored to Him.
It is especially comforting of late, with the horrors assailing the human race – evil bent on the destruction of innocence, goodness and beauty. The peace of this pastoral landscape causes me to look up . . . and hope.
Edward Hicks was fascinated with this scene. He painted eighty renditions of it. The child and the animals all look different, but the basic composition of each painting is the same. Perhaps he was trying to get it perfect . . . in a world plagued with imperfections. The idea that a little child will be able to lead a lion with no fear is idyllic, indeed. The child, akin to Hope, becomes the model for a world at Peace – Hope fulfilled. I love the way Eugene Petersen interprets this scripture in The Message:
The wolf will romp with the lamb,
the leopard sleep with the kid.
Calf and lion will eat from the same trough,
and a little child will tend them.
Isaiah 11:6 The Message
The child leads ~ The child tends.
The Good Shepherd leads ~ The Good Shepherd tends.
Innocence leads ~ Innocence tends.
Leading and tending are used in an applicable manner – The child SERVING.
How can we allow the “little child” to lead us . . . tend us . . . serve us in these days before the Peaceable Kingdom? I look long and hard at Hicks’ painting – and others of his renditions – and imagine. What would you do if you were a child hanging out with furry animals? Would you romp with the wolf and lamb? Snuggle down and sleep with the leopard and goat? Have a picnic with the cow and lion?
The Power of Play
I remember in my early days of motherhood, trying to balance the many responsibilities of running a home. My husband was away at sea most of the time and I raised both my children largely as a single parent. Sometimes the cares of the world weighed heavy upon me. I might plop onto the couch with a sigh, overwhelmed with my little bundles of troubles. Suddenly, I’d become aware of cooing sounds and giggles. Glancing down, my eyes would fall upon my toddlers.
Playing! Eyes wide with wonder! Engrossed in carefree joy!
How I envied them . . .
They had not a care in the world. It wasn’t theirs to carry. Mommy would take care of things. They were intent on their one job – PLAY.
Through their play, they were accomplishing the object of childhood – LEARNING.
As they learned, day by blissful day of play – they GREW.
In the end – my challenges as a mom came and went with regularity. It is the cycle of things. God provided our daily bread for body, soul and spirit. How I wish I had cast off those cares in the day, content and at peace . . . and taken more time to play.
Chesterton is right – earthly living can be a taskmaster. But, for those of us preparing for eternity in the presence of our Father God, allowing the leading of a little child in our grown-up lives serves the spirit well, tending to a deep, heartfelt need. Moments of carefree play before our Lord is where we learn of Him and grow accordingly.
Even the governments that are – in this present time – corrupting and destroying.
In their wake, I need to get down on the floor with my toddler self and play – at peace – knowing that God has all things under control. I am the delight of His heart – as my own children are to me. Playing in His presence. Interacting with Him – laying down cares for joys – Peace . . . Prayer . . .
Lord, raise me up as a little child leading . . . tending . . . serving carefree ~ in Your Peace.
Playing . . . learning . . . growing in You ~ in Prayer.
As a little child, may I be ever teachable ~ focused upon You who delights in His children at play ~ romping, snuggling and eating together at peace in Your Presence.
Challenge: Make time to bless and nurture the hungry “little child” within. Your grown-up world needs the respite. God has something to minister to you in that place . . .
If you humble yourself as a little child and meet Him there . . .
With eyes to see and ears to hear . . .
And arms open wide for His embrace.
NEXT WEEK: As little children growing up . . .
This is the 3rd installment of Word & Image August 2014: As Little Children.
Click below for the other posts in the series:
Sharing As Little Children: Leading this week with:
Tell His Story with Jennifer Dukes Lee
Lyli at Thought Provoking Thursdays at 3D Lessons 4Life
Hope in Every Season Homemaking Party
Laura on Faith Filled Friday at Missional Women
Fellowship Fridays at Christian Mommy Blogger
Still Saturday with Sandra Heska King
Charlotte at Spiritual Sundays