One of my favorite parts of this community is the guest post series that looks at and tells stories of a certain theme. We’re diving into Holy Curiosity this year, and we’d love to hear and have your voice. Fellow writer and former investigative journalist Michal Conger kicks it off for us with a story of her daughters’ inquisitiveness – and it’s a beauty. So, read, enjoy and submit your words soon!
I find myself giving myself a lot of explanations these days. My one year olds want to know how rain happens, what the sidewalk feels like, why babies cry, and what anything and everything tastes like.
Today we were walking to our car, a walk we do every day, when they heard our neighbor’s wind chime. They stopped and pointed, mimicking the sound with delighted smiles. A few steps later they saw an upstairs neighbor’s ceiling fan on, and started spinning in circles like the fan. When we reached the rain spout, they were overjoyed to see it dripping and yelled, “Rain! Rain!” They love to notice and wonder at things. They see not what makes them ordinary, but what makes them lovely, intriguing and worthy of notice.
Their constant curiosity prompts me to examine things in a fresh light, things I’ve taken for granted since I was their age. I give the explanations as best I can, but am reminded that I don’t actually know how fire works, or why hot water poured over ground-up beans becomes so life-giving when you’re up before the sun rises. I tell them what I can, but inside I keep pondering: what do I really know?
A transformation happens when I see ordinary things through my girls’ eyes. For them, nothing is mundane, even if we’ve talked about it over and over. And when I see like that, life gets back some of the wonder that wore off as I grew older and thought I was seeing things as they really are. Rain becomes puddles to jump in. A crying baby reminds me of the miracle of birth, and the mystery of how we become who we are.
It’s not that things look very different, physically. But that wonder catches at my sleeve as I rush through the day: what does this remind you of? It will say.
It reminds me that beauty and complexity point back to a Creator. It reminds me that every person is an image-bearer of an eternal being. It reminds me that small joys are meant to lead me to a higher Joy, that small acts of selflessness imitate a greater sacrifice that secured once for all the joy and freedom my heart seeks.
Curiosity, I’m learning, lifts my gaze from the mundane and ordinary to catch glimmers of the extraordinary. When I’m prompted to look up from the temporary, eternity breaks through.
Curiosity reminds me there’s more to this world than what our eyes can see. In that sense, children have the advantage over us: they don’t limit themselves to what they can explain or touch. They believe in the Good, True and Beautiful because those ring true in a world filled with wonder.
As journalist and lay theologian G.K. Chesterton wrote in his faith autobiography Orthodoxy, “[Fairy tales] make rivers run with wine only to make us remember, for one wild moment, that they run with water.”
The inquisitiveness of my children daily reminds me there’s more to life than my eyes can see, and I’m grateful for their constant wondering. I hope they continue to teach me more about reality than I can teach them. I hope together we learn to lift our eyes to eternity, cultivating a habit of wonder and curiosity that reminds us always of a reality beyond mere sight.
Michal lives in the D.C. area with her husband and twin girls. She is a freelance writer and former investigative reporter. When she’s not refereeing twins, she can be found running, reading or pouring a cup of Chemex coffee. Michal blogs at motherhoodalive.com. It’s Cara again: man, didn’t you just love Michal’s words? Whether or not you have children, how has a child’s inquisitiveness taught you to see LIFE in a whole new light? Leave some love below! Otherwise, just a reminder that the guest queue is open and ready for business: submit your Holy Curiosity post today!0