Blessed are the pure in heart,
for they will see God.
Matthew 5 : 8
What does it mean to be ‘pure in heart’? Later in Matthew Jesus was asked “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”. In response he took a child upon his lap and said “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
When it comes to purity, children are our teachers. When children play they throw their whole selves into it. They are capable of boundless creativity, honest sincerity and unbridled joy, and they are able to do so without shame or inhibition. I heard it pointed out recently that phrases like “I don’t sing” or “I don’t dance” are things that only adults say. When children want to sing they sing, and when they want to dance they dance, regardless of their skill level, and when they do the joy flows naturally from them.
As adults have a lot to learn from children. We find it so easy bind ourselves up with inhibitions, expectations and anxieties. We internalise the gaze of others and create shame inside us. Shame regulates our behaviour, influences our thoughts, and can even prevent us from seeing God.
To be pure in heart is to be able to experience childlike love, free from guilt or shame. And when we do we are able to see God, the source of all love.
Prayer: God of all love help us to be pure in heart. Free us from the shackles of shame and inhibition and allow us to love freely and without bounds. Grant us the wisdom of children so we may experience this world with joy, innocence, and wonder.
Action: Indulge your inner child and do something just for the joy of it without any shame. Sing, dance, crack a bad joke? Whatever it is do it without inhibition, knowing that God is rejoicing right there with you.