Tuesday, February 17, 2009
"...the magic of being solemn, yet never serious, is the secret of the young heart..."
walking down the beach on my last day in florida, i passed a young family with 3 little kids covered in sand. the youngest, a girl of around 3 or 4, caught my eye and walked up to me. without speaking or smiling, she held out her hand, palm up, showing me a smooth, round shell. i smiled. reaching into my pocket i asked her, "would you like to see what i found?" she nodded, and i showed her the mostly whole shell i was carrying with me. looking me straight in the eye, she very slowly placed her smooth, round shell on my open hand, beside my own shell, and i thought to myself that she must think we were making a trade - one she was getting the better deal from. but i figured what the heck, she was just a kid, and i could find another great shell. imagine my surprise when, once her shell was firmly in my hand, she nodded and took a step back. we weren't trading, she was giving me her shell. i stood there for a moment, wondering what to do - knowing that a smooth, round shell was a sacred treasure to a child, even more so to one who had to travel so far to see the ocean. she smiled at me, tentatively, and i simply said "thank you". her smile broke into a grin, and she skipped back to her siblings and their sand buckets without a backward glance. i don't know what inspired her generosity, but i was moved by it.
maybe this is what Jesus meant when he said we must become like little children...