Take Time for the Little Ones
Grace Andrews of Independence, MO, USA
Jesus said, “…let the children come to me…the kingdom of Heaven belongs to little children like these.” -Matt. 19:14 J.B.Phillips
Our son-in-law came to our home to help with a few tasks in the house which we were unable to accomplish. He brought along two of our great-grandsons-ages 3 and 5. As he worked, the boys soon became restless, so I suggested they put their shoes on and we’d go for a walk. Geese often occupy a lovely nearby pond, and I thought they would like to see them.
We unintentionally startled some of the geese when we arrived at the pond, and they squawked and flew up suddenly, frightening our 3 year old. He clutched my hand and demanded we go back. No amount of persuading could convince him otherwise, so I finally turned the boys back toward my home. On the way, I decided to stop in at a neighbor’s house and they immediately invited us in. They talked animatedly to the boys, showing them their enormous “cat-tree” in their family room, and tried to persuade their three cats to come out of hiding and be friendly to their guests. The cats would have nothing to do with the boys-eyeing them suspiciously. No amount of coaxing would bring them within petting distance. After several minutes, I suggested we needed to return home as their grandpa must be through with the odd jobs and looking for them by now. The boys did not want to leave but with the promise of cookies, they scampered alongside me to our home. I was surprised when our 3 year old wanted to go back and see the geese again. I told him maybe another time; he looked up at me with those big eyes and said, “I want to stay with you.” Heart-warming words to a grandma…
Soon after returning to our home, their grandpa was indeed ready to leave and get on with the day’s activities he planned for the boys. When he finally returned them to their home, their mother asked, “What was the best part of your day?” Our 5 year old immediately responded, “Going for a walk with Great-grandma and visiting her neighbors!” Sometimes we forget the spirit of presence and sharing time is so important to little ones. It really matters-even to the very young.
“Your mercies are new every morning” (Lamentations 3:22-23, adapted).
Ordinary Time is a season for noticing the details of life that make up its substance. This month, we invite you to pay attention with each fresh morning to the gift of being alive. Before getting out of bed, take a few deep breaths and notice what it feels like to wake up in your own body. Engage the tasks of your unfolding day with reverence-brushing your teeth, making the bed, pouring the coffee, tending the kids, feeding the animals, making breakfast, etc. Notice the presence of the Holy in every ordinary thing. Embrace your daily routines with sacramental significance. Notice how long you can do this before your attention is taken away, and commit to returning to this simple awareness as gently and often as you can.
Today’s Prayer for Peace
Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.