A Second Naivety

February 26, 2011 § Leave a comment

Naivety would not be considered an adult virtue.  Adults are independent and streetwise.  From a Christian faith perspective though, adults are invited into a life characterized by a second naivety.  Psalm 131 is such a short song of second naivety.  It uses the metaphor of “a weaned child” rather than a nurtured child to describe someone who “is not proud” and who “do not concern myself with great matters” (131:1).  If the metaphor was a nurtured child, it would suggest the first naivety of an infant’s complete dependency on his/her mother.  However, a weaned child refers to an older toddler who returns to the comfort and shelter of his/her mother (131:2).  The weaned child has some experience of the world, but still seek the calm and quiet environment of the parent.  Amid the calamities of the world, the weaned child lives into a second naivety of constantly returning to the reliable consolation of a mother’s nurture.  He/she is not ignorant or unaware of the dangers of life, but is sustained by the confidence of God’s divine presence in his/her life.  When you and I are done with the daily routines of adult life, the only thing that is left is to return to our Parent’s house to be nurtured from the scars of an adult life.

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