Our Whole and Holy Selves

- Body and Soul

Signposts: Daily Devotions

Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them, for it so to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.
—Matthew 19:14


I recently saw a toddler eating ice cream. Now I know that toddlers can be messy and get food all over themselves. My wife and I have had two who were quite skilled in this art, especially when wearing finer clothing. 

But this child, well, this child was really messy—she was in a whole new category. Dribbles, if not whole tablespoons of chocolate ice cream, were flowing down the front of her dress. Her face was hardly visible; dessert covered her from hair to chin and beyond.

But more interesting was why it was happening. You see she was laughing so hard that she couldn't get the ice cream in her mouth. She was so excited about the ice cream that she lost all comprehension of time and space. Her spirit was soaring in the delight of it all and to experience the ice cream took her whole body—literally.

Children are amazing to me. They don't know limits. If you watch them, you begin to see that they do not categorize anything. All things flow into one another. Laughter becomes song, conversation becomes discovery, eating becomes a hysterical moment of grace. For in the eyes of a child, there is no distance between the experience of the body and the dance of the soul.

The little girl eating ice cream and all children call us back to this dance of the soul. If we could reconnect just a little bit of the body and soul, we would discover more of God's voice in our lives. We'd find God closer to us in the ordinary things of life, and times like eating ice cream might become a chance to celebrate life once again.

So do yourself a favor—watch a toddler at play. Go to a park or watch a group of them in church. Rediscover the connection between body and soul. Others will think you're crazy. But you might discover God.

God, help me be like a child, not so much childish, but childlike. Show me the connection between my body and soul and let me experience your grace and mercy in all that I do. Amen.

Copyright ©2006 Michael Sullivan.