Innocence and Beauty


While eating dinner one evening on holidays Ellie told us she knew some swear words… ‘Ok – which ones?’ Danelle asked curiously.

‘Well…’ she said tentatively ‘There’s the ‘sh’ word, the ‘b’ word and the ‘f’ word’…

Danelle and I looked at each other. Did we really want to pursue this? Then in a playful motherly tone Danelle asked, ‘So what’s the ‘sh’ word Ellie?’

Ellie looked at us like we were naughty for even mentioning it. ‘Can’t say.’ she said.

‘Its ok honey’ Danelle said. ‘Do you mean ‘shit’?’

Ellie looked a little dumbfounded. ‘No…’ We both tried to gloss over the fact that Danelle had not put this word into her vocab!

‘So what’s the ‘sh’ word then?’ Danelle asked. (I was a tad curious also by now.)

Quietly and slowly she whispered ‘s-h-u-t u-p’.

‘Ohh…’ we said ‘Of course’ as we glanced at each other smiling. ‘Good for you Ellie. Don’t be saying that!’

And then there was the ‘b’ word, ‘bum’ and the ‘f’ word, ‘fart’. Its kinda nice this is till her interpretation of these words at the tender age of 6. Still innocent!

And very beautiful with it.

While in Denmark we went to the local markets where we spent some time chatting with a local hippie who had made some flutes out of clay. We came back to buy one and as we spoke he picked up a necklace and gave it to Ellie. ‘There’s something very beautiful about you. You have a very special energy.’

He asked her if she watched a lot of TV. The correct answer was supposed to be ‘no’, but Ellie told the truth and said ‘yes’!

It was a beautiful gesture and he told us the story behind it. While travelling someone had once said to him that there aint nothing in this world for free – and it had saddened him – enough to bring tears to his eyes as we stood there. So he had made decision that he would regularly and freely give things away to demonstrate that not everything has a cost and that goodness and kindness is still in our world.

Nice to meet someone in whom the imago dei is so evident. I wonder if he didn’t see some degree of reflection as he looked in the eyes of an innocent 6 year old?

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