This last week Sally and I were at Mill Grove (http://www.millgrove.org.uk/) for a meeting of the Child Theology Movement. For a long time I have been interested in theological perspectives on children and am delighted when I find books and articles that take my thinking forward. There is one such article in the current edition of the International Journal for Children’s Spirituality written by Robyn Wrigley-Carr which talks about ‘Proclaiming and cultivating ‘childlikeness’: a subversive thread in Christian anthropology. There is a reference to the Child Theology Movement in the article but also to some theologians from much further back. I was particularly taken with these reflections:
In the midst of increased urbanisation and the frenzy of population growth in many of our cities, we all, children and adults alike, need green spaces for play and rest, so we can be humanised, for something essential regarding what it is to be human when we become dominated by technology and the built environment and don’t have time to be still and quiet – attentive to creation, to ourselves and to the Divine…
In addition to this immersion in creation, we all need rest, for when we work incessantly, we lose our ability to play which is a childlike attribute. Alongside playfulness, when we are constantly busy working, our weariness makes us unaware of our ‘unawakeness’, our lack of attentiveness to our surroundings and to ourselves. But getting off the conveyer belt of activity and rush, escaping the demands of email and mobile phones in the wonder and spaciousness of creation can bring forth this ‘childlikeness’ as we reflect upon what is happening in our lives as we encounter the Divine.
The picture is the garden at Mill Grove complete with toys – when is our next opportunity to play?
Vol 23(1) p45-52