Sometimes as adults we forget to allow ourselves to see the wonders around us. The years have made us cynical, or we no longer have faith in the systems that we thought once stood for what we believed. With the world situation as it is, this is an easy attitude to adopt. Sanity and civility seem to be disappearing in daily living. Is there a cure for this? Can we find a way to return to a brighter day?
Recently, we had the joy of having our B.C. grandchildren visit with us for a week. One is three years old and the other is eight months. If you ever want to see life as a precious blessing, have your little grandchildren around for a week. I rediscovered their joy in everything. They took all things as new and exciting. Even when they were upset, it wasn’t with the state of politics or fear of the future. It was because they were hungry, or sick, or angry, or in need of a hug. Nothing restores your faith in humankind faster than having a child hug you. There is no more glorious feeling.
We watched as the three-year-old ran full steam through the cold waters of Parlee Beach without a complaint about the cold water as he pushed his truck full tilt through the water. The eight-month-old could melt your heart with a smile and watching her discover new things renewed my hope for the future. These are the ones who will make changes in the world to come. It is our responsibility to ensure that they don’t become jaded along the way, but rather continue to see the beauty and the good around them. They had an endless thirst for knowledge and books, not computers. Reading times were special. Snuggling up and reading them a book or listening as they read it to you are things that are priceless. As difficult as it was to say goodbye to them at the airport, the joy and life renewal they brought made it all worthwhile. There is still beauty and wonder in this big, old, dark world.
The Scriptures remind us that Jesus was among the first to teach that the children were the hope for all. He welcomed them into his presence and he made sure other adults recognized their importance. His was a gospel of love and acceptance of differences. The power struggles of His time were obstacles to truly reaching out to the masses and making everyone’s life better. The challenge remains today, as we attempt to see the world through the eyes of a child and respond to others in love.
Rev. Byron Corkum is with the First Baptist Church in Amherst.