2nd August 2022

Looking through the eyes of a child

… “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 18:3-4 (ESV)

.Several years ago I was travelling on the train from my home town in East Sussex, probably on a day trip to London, when an incident happened that I have never forgotten. We had left behind the small town with its shops and houses and were, instead, blessed with beautiful views of the South Downs, which have since become part of a National Park. I had taken a seat opposite a little girl of about six years of age, who in turn was sitting next to a man I presumed to be her father. At this point we were about to pass an extremely large figure carved into the steep slopes of the hillside known as The Long Man of Wilmington or the Wilmington Giant.

Until now the little girl had been sitting quietly looking out of the window, but suddenly, being confronted with this larger than life figure holding a staff in each hand, she excitedly turned to her father and asked what I considered to be a very loaded question: ‘Is it God?’  Now there’s a million dollar question I thought, and couldn’t stop a smile from coming across my face.

You are probably very intrigued to know what his reply was but my memory fails me. He may not have actually provided one for her. Whether this little girl was brought up to believe in God or not I shall never know but I think it is worth commenting on how, in her little mind, she viewed Him.

To this little girl God was obviously someone who was so much bigger than her (in more ways than one), and also much larger than her own father. He would be strong and powerful and in a ‘higher place’ than her. She wasn’t the only one who could see him, every passenger travelling on that train, and any other trains, could do so too. He was there for them all. 

Whether you attend a church or not, our understanding of God can sometimes become very deep and thought provoking, which is not of itself a bad thing, but at the same time there may be occasions when we are left feeling just a little bit shell shocked and overwhelmed by the sheer ‘awesomeness’ of it all, and may temporarily feel a little bit lost, or even doubt. At such times maybe we would do well to remember the little girl on the train and simply get back to basics for a while. After all, we are just children ourselves; Jesus, speaking to his disciples, calls them, “Little children” (John 13:33).

The Long Man of Wilmington did, however, lack one important thing that was not visible to the little girl and which, without doubt, is the most important characteristic of God, above anything else. This can be found in 1 John 4:16 (emphasis mine): ‘So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.’


Dear Father in heaven, thank you for being such a powerful and yet, at the same time, such a tender loving and understanding God. Help us to simply accept this with the open arms of innocent children. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Study by Sharman Bowen


About the writer:
Sharman Bowen attends the Lewes congregation of Grace Communion International.

Local congregation:
Grace Communion in Lewes
The House of Friendship
208 High Street

Meeting time:
Sunday 11:00am

Local congregational contact:
Hilary Buck: lewes@gracecom.church
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Word of Life contact: