. . . and little children will lead them. Isaiah 11:6, GW
It was just a smile; one I didn’t know I needed . . . until now. As I write this I am being blessed once more by the memory of her sweet smile. Not sure why I’m including this story. Maybe it’s because I’m running low on illustrations. Or maybe, truth be told, I’m getting old. Or maybe it is because she was just so cute!
I have a disclaimer. Like I said, I’m getting older whether I like it or not. I may look old, but I layer the camouflage on thick enough in an attempt to hide the aging that seems to accelerate after loss. I’m fortunate to walk without assistance so what tipped her off? But she was just so cute!
My hubby kindly let me off at the church door and drove off to park. Walking toward the door, I noticed a family coming up close behind me. The little girls were maybe ages 3 and 5 and the boys older. What caught my eye were their cute pink coats and sweet smiles to match, so I engaged them in polite conversation, asking questions as we approached the door. I got there first so I opened it for the younger little girl. Mamma appeared to be murmuring in parent-to-child language soft enough that I could not pick up what she said. Okay, yes. Add hard of hearing to the list, but she didn’t know that!
As I held the door open for this adorable child, she thanked me so sweetly with, “Thank you, Grandma.” Grandma? Ouch!
I didn’t get much beyond the entrance before the scene hit instant replay and I burst out laughing. I know it’s church, but I couldn’t help it. Grandma indeed. I found myself doing a quick inventory to see if all my body parts were covered. What gave her that idea, I wondered. Do I look that old? But there are some pretty young, hip grannies out there and I hope to be one of them when the time comes. It just struck me funny.
I can’t scold an innocent child. I did the same thing when I was about her age. I was standing at the bathroom sink, watching my beloved grandma wash her face. I studied her intently, capturing her every move, which led me to ask a serious question, serious in my mind anyway: “Grandma,” I asked, “why is your face all cracked?” She looked startled and then had the same reaction as I did and burst out laughing. I couldn’t figure out what was so funny. Her face was “all cracked” with wrinkles and to my young mind, I thought it might hurt.
I love that memory. Time has brought me full circle I suppose. That sweet child thought I looked like a grandma. Bless her little heart.
Remember how Jesus treated children? He loved them crawling all over Him, sitting on His lap, maybe touching His beard, looking intently into His beautiful eyes, sharing smiles, rubbing noses. “The kingdom is made up of these,” He said to their mothers, His disciples, and anyone else within ear shot as He stroked their hair and patted their rosy cheeks.
God does come in all shapes and sizes. He reaches out and blesses us when we are least expecting it and in extraordinary ways. I had hit a rough patch this week and probably was not in the best mood this church morning, but it took some words out of the mouth of a child to lighten my step and put a smile on my face. I know how hard it is to find anything to be cheerful about. Our world often becomes harsh after loss and we may find ourselves berated for taking so long to heal. Definitely not words of comfort. But if I may suggest, I pray that you will be blessed soon with something special. Something out of the ordinary and maybe even delivered by a sweet, angelic child.
But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the children come to me and do not stop them, because the Kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Luke 18:16, GNT