Refashion the face that I have spoiled;
restore the innocence that I have violated.
The second innocence is greater than the first innocence. The first innocence is akin to ignorance. It is the innocence of not-knowing. The second innocence is an innocence of forgiveness. It is the innocence that is chosen because it is freely offered.
The phrase “unless you change and become like a little child” speaks of the second innocence. The phrase “you must be born again” also speaks of it. Jesus does not ask us to return to the first innocence. We cannot “unexperience” something. There is no such thing as “unignorance”. A void cannot be negated further; it can only be filled.
Jesus wants to fill the void. Yes, we all have tried filling the original void with things that spoiled our face and violated our primary innocence. But those things only decayed, leaving a void still. So, we try other things--a different thing each year we grow older. But these new things still decayed. The only thing that can fill the void permanently is a person of permanence, someone who always has been and always will be—someone who doesn’t die. There is only one person that fits this description. His name is Jesus. He’ll come in and fill the void if we just ask him.
When Jesus comes in, he forgives and treats us as if we’d never sinned. We’re free, really free. This new reality brightens one's soul. This new internal state is reflected on our face. Somehow, those around can see a difference now. They don’t quite know precisely what it is, but you’re like a little kid again. But this time, you’ve chosen to stay that way. Don’t go and grow up now, whatever you do.
"You must be born again."