In her chapter in the book, Children’s Spirituality, Trevecca Okholm tells this beautiful story about practicing reverence, paying attention and taking detours while reading the parable of the hidden treasure to her four-year-old granddaughter.
“One summer day, after I retold the parable of the treasure hidden in the field to our four-year-old granddaughter, and the story was folded neatly back into our golden parable box, she suggested that it would be fun to go outside and dig for hidden treasure in our backyard. Thinking quickly, I responded, ‘Of course, but how about we dig with our eyes and hands and not with a shovel?’ Off we went into our very tiny backyard in search of treasure. And what did we find? Tiny flowers hidden among the blades of grass and tiny insects that gave us lots to discuss about God’s amazingly diverse creation. We found spiderwebs and lovely flat stones. We looked at butterflies and birds, which caused us to sit quietly for a while by the fountain and watch to see if any hummingbirds might come and bathe there. It turned out that it was not exactly the time of day for hummingbirds to bathe, so I suggested she make me very early in the morning and we would go out to watch for humminbirds.
Around 6:00 a.m. the next day, I awoke to see two little eyes peering into my face at close range. Ah! Yes, now I remembered. So quietly I poured my necessary-for-treasure-hunting cup of coffee and we sat oh-so-quietly and waited. It was a magical moment – probably more so for me than for her – to sit reverently beside the fountain in the early summer morning while everyone else in the house was still asleep, watching and waiting for one of God’s kingdom treasures, a tiny hummingbird, to appear. We were not disappointed. Several showed up, and we pondered anew the treasures of the kingdom hidden in a field – or, in this case, a suburban backyard.” (pg 111-112.)
I wonder what hidden treasures you can find? What are ways that you can practice reverence, pay attention and take detours with your children and grandchildren?