Today Beth asked Karol (who is just over 2 years old), “Do you know what Jesus did for you?” We had finished bedtime prayers, and it was time for a little baby catechesis.
His response was both unexpected and true: “Dinosaurs!” While he had not intended to imply that Jesus made the dinosaurs for him (not only can his little brain not yet comprehend creation and the awesome power and amazing genius of God, he was merely pointing to the images on his jammies), it reminded me of the far-reaching fingers of God’s mercy. They reach through space, time, wonder, aesthetic, mystery…
Jesus knows just how little we all are, when it really comes down to it. To Him, we are all like two-year-olds who marvel at his creation. If we’ve ceased to marvel at His creation, we’ve not matured – we’ve shriveled up and become know-it-all brats who think we have everything we need by our own handiwork. I think too much focus on scientific knowledge tends to do this to us. find new domain Not that lots of scientific knowledge is bad, just the intense focus on the possibility of knowing everything by empirical experience which leads us to stop looking at blades of grass with awe.
But also, an atrophied spiritual life leads down that path. Too much concentration of “what I have to get done” and not enough on “what I have to let happen to me” by immersing myself in the amazing and beautiful things God has given by His creation (what I like to call “natural sacramentals”, though not in any real theological sense).
It’s no wonder that dinosaurs stir up awe and wonder in little ones (both the young and old little ones). Jesus made them for us because He knows that we’d be awe-struck by them, and that they could help lead us to Him. Sure, we don’t know much about their reality apart from conjecture, but why do we need to know more than that? Isn’t that mystery just what keeps us in love with the natural world? And that love of the natural world which prompts our love for the amazing God who created all of these things for us?
So, of course I told Karol, “yeah, Jesus made the dinosaurs for you. When he was making them, he thought, ‘Karol will love these – he’ll be so amazed’. He was thinking about you when He made each one.” And to myself, I can say the same thing, because I know that Jesus knows and loves each one of us that well.