When we see our preschoolers dressed as angels for a Christmas play, we smile and feel a little tug at our hearts. They are so cute! But is that all we are reacting to? Could it be that we see something in those little earth angels that remind us of what children reveal to us every month of the year?

Sometimes we notice a young child’s eyes shining with delight, or filled with much concern for another, or sparkling with mischief and laughter. What we are seeing is God’s presence in the world. When we feel that tenderness in our hearts towards these little ones who are so sweet and dear, we are responding to their complete openness to God.

They are a living reminder that God’s grace is freely given and poured upon us each day.

Parents and teachers of young children are privileged to meet God this way more often than other adults. Here is a gift for the new year, quotes from wise adults who also felt God’s grace through children:

"I love little children, and it is not a slight thing when they, who are fresh from God, love us." — Charles Dickens

"God's most beautiful thoughts bloom into children." — Carl Sandburg

"Grown men may learn from very little children, for the hearts of little children are pure, and therefore, the Great Spirit may show to them many things which older people miss." — Black Elk

"Children are naturally spiritual. Children are naïve mystics." — John Bradshaw

"Every child begins the world again." — Henry David Thoreau

"If you have children…see the Light of God in them. He has united you in this relationship, not merely for an outer bond but to see and serve God in them." — Sant Kirpal Singh

"Every child comes with the message that God is not yet discouraged of man." — Rabindranath Tagore

"I must take issue with the term "a mere child," for it has been my invariable experience that the company of a mere child is infinitely preferable to that of a mere adult." — Fran Lebowitz

"A baby is a flower sent from heaven to blossom here." — Carl Sandburg

"Heaven lies all about us in our infancy." — William Wordsworth

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