Out of the mouths of babes and infants you have founded a bulwark because of your foes, to silence the enemy and the avenger. Psalm 8:2 NRSV
A bulwark evokes images of strength – large stone or masonry walls, topped with parapets and armament. It is, after all, a protective barrier that stands between us and “the enemy and the avenger.”
But, this passage tells us our spiritual bulwark comes not from any barrier we may build, or any eloquence of speech we may conjure as adults, but from “the mouths of babes and infants.” What strength does an infant offer? Lacking physical strength, worldly knowledge, and intellectual acuity, a babe seems an unlikely champion.
This passage is not saying we need to surrender knowledge to accept God – that is the argument of those who discount faith. What this passage is saying is that we need to regain the strength of spirit with which we were born.
All God’s children are born in union with their divine source. Faith has no name. Belief is not something attained. Unity with our Creator occurs as naturally, and with as little effort, as breath and heartbeats.
And then, we begin to unlearn our oneness with God. We start having to think about each breath. Every heartbeat requires effort. We have forgotten how to let go, how to be at peace, to simply be one with the Creator that loves and lives in our every moment.
Our bulwark, then, isn’t something we build. It is something we regain. And our enemy isn’t some phantom that can stopped with a wall. Nor is it the knowledge and strength we build in life: those are essential to turning our inner faith into outward acts of love.
Our foe is the separation we build between ourselves and God – the false identity we create in our knowledge, possessions, strength, and accomplishments. Only when we accept these as transitory tools can we regain the eternal oneness with which we were born. Then, we can once again speak as babes and infants – with an unassailable and autonomic love of God and our neighbor.
Lord, help us to live not in the faith of what we may acquire or achieve. Help us instead to return to the peace, in the unity and love of You and all Your creation, with which we were blessed at birth. Amen.