Children of God

Working with children on the writing of poetry has let me to ponder the ways that most of us become exiled from the certainties of childhood; how it is that the things we most treasure when we’re young are exactly those things we come to spurn as teenagers and young adults. Very small children are often conscious of God, for example, in ways that adults seldom are. They sing to God, they talk to God, they recognize divine presence in the world around them: they can see the Virgin Mary dancing among the clouds, they know that God made a deep ravine by their house “because he was angry when people would not love him,” they believe that an overnight snowfall is “just like Jesus glowing on the mountaintop.” Yet these budding theologians often despise church by the time they’re in eighth grade.

By Kathleen Norris