It was dark, well past lights out time for wee ones.

“Mummy,” the little voice called from down the hall, “I need you”.

A five-year-old voice calling out in the night usually means “I need to go pee;” “I need a drink;” “I’m scared;” or “I can’t sleep.”

But this time, when her mother came into the bedroom our grand-daughter said, “Mummy I need you to listen to the song I made.”

Then she sang,

God is here,
And everywhere.
And he knows that I love him.

What does a five-year-old mean when she sings “God is here,/There/And everywhere”?

I am pretty sure this budding composer could not articulate exactly what she thinks such a bold statement of faith might mean. She has no well worked out theological construct that would give her any cognitive grounding from which to affirm the omnipresence of the Divine reality we call “God.”

I think for this child the affirmation that “God is here,/There/And everywhere” means that in her experience, at its core, life is good and beautiful. I think, because of her family life and the wider community that nurtures her with love and care, this little person experiences life as filled with love and she understands in some intuitive sense that this love is not confined. It is not restricted to herself, to her family, or even just to her community.

She knows that beauty is everywhere. It expands out beyond her own immediate circumstances. It lives in the trees and the sunshine. She experiences the wonder of this beauty in the stories she creates in her elaborate fantasy play and in the joy she finds in the company of the people around her who fill her life with warmth and affirmation.

The thing I find most touching about this little song is that the composer, not only affirms the reality of love at the heart of existence, but she then declares her love for this reality she has sensed. I might have anticipated that a child would have been coached by her spiritual mentors to affirm “God is here,/There/And everywhere.” But I would have thought this child’s training would then have caused her to go on to sing “And I know that he loves me.”

But this song is not about God’s love for a little person. It is about her love for God.

She knows that she there is something deep within her that is drawn to the force of love, light and goodness that she experiences in the world all around her. Her heart stirs with that movement of love and this song is her response.

When she sings “And he knows that I love him,” she is saying, “I love life, beauty, goodness, truth, kindness, compassion, honesty.” She is affirming her love for all those qualities she experiences in life that make us most truly human.

My hope/prayer for this five-year-old is that she might continue to sense this resonance within her deepest being. I pray she may know that the beauty and love she experiences in the world around her, reflect her true nature, and that she may continue to heed the call of that reality and sing the songs that this force of love imparts to her.


 sung by the composer: