In a world full of hatred, we have to choose what we pay attention to.
Last week we went out for a Friday night dinner on the beach. We got take out and sat on the sand watching the surfers catch the last few waves before they lost the sun.
A father and son came down the big wooden staircase to the sand to catch the last few minutes of the cotton candy clouds. The dad, dressed in jeans and a baseball hat, held his son’s hand as they walked down - the son was no more than 2 years old.
This toddler hopped around excitedly as his bright blonde curls danced on his head and his dad took in the view. This little boy ran to a big rock, excitedly picked it up with two hands, and tottered over to stand at his father’s feet. He lifted the rock to his dad, who turned around and happily said, “Thank you!”
The little boy continued to collect rocks and offer them as gift to dad. He started to make a collection, a little pile right by dad’s feet.
In a world full of hatred, it is essential to stop and watch this scene.
I soaked in his innocence and his joy - I soaked in his first thought to offer a rock to his daddy - I soaked in the beauty of children’s fascination with the simplest things of the world.
You and I are both well aware the extent to which we are surrounded by hatred. As humans kill innocent humans in airports, finishing marathons, going to concerts, while refugees continue to flee for their lives, while nuns fight for their right to religious freedom…the light is hard to see.
It is hard to see, but it is there…and we have to choose to pay close attention to it.
The light is in watching the toddler give rocks to his dad.
It was getting cold and Daniel asked if we could go. I asked for two more minutes to enjoy this little boy’s joy. As we started up the wooden staircase, I asked the dad what the little boy’s name is.
“His name is Calvin. We call him Calvie.”
You gotta watch Calvie and soak it in. It is no longer a should - it is a must. It is imperative to our survival in our broken and devastated world - it is imperative to holding onto hope that there is beauty to be had and seen. We cannot take moments of joy and peace for granted anymore - they are precious and deserve all of our attention.
As I write this in Starbucks, a mom and her daughter are standing in line together. Mom is braiding her daughter’s hair while they talk and laugh.
The light is out there.
Watch closely for it and when you find it, don’t look away from it too soon.