She reached out to touch my hand, her pudgy toddler fingers soft and warm. Dark brown Hispanic eyes twinkled with joy as we played peek-a-boo around her mother’s shoulder.
We waited in line at Arby’s, teasing each other for at least ten minutes. The baby grinned at me, two tiny bottom teeth standing like white pillars in her perky mouth.
I would have given her mother twenty dollars to let me hold her precious daughter, but then maybe the spell would have broken. Surely this gregarious child had been trained to show caution around strangers.
Then customer service interrupted. The child and her mother moved away from me, and I ordered a drink — suddenly bereft, no longer hungry.
Yet hope revived as I imagined the future for this tiny life, untouched by the cares of this world. That precious little has no idea of the stresses she will someday encounter — the need to pay a gas bill or keep a roof over her head.
She is years away from deciding on a career and thankfully, her choices will be much more varied than mine ever were.
Her grin was completely free from any emotional baggage, yet even as I played peek-a-boo with her, I begged God to protect her.
Statistics prove one out of four little girls will be sexually assaulted, one out of six little boys.
Oh God – may that statistic burn in hell !
Later, as I reflected on my day and remembered the beautiful child, I marveled how she had increased my hope:
- Her youth — so much potential ahead of her
- Her innocence — may life allow her to remain pure
- Her freedom — in a country that offers so much promise and may it continue to do so
- Her gender — with more opportunities for women than ever before
- Her beauty — who could resist those brown eyes and black hair surrounding clear baby skin?
No wonder God tells us to become like a little child.
No wonder Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me” (Matthew 19:14).
No wonder our hearts burst with joy when we are accepted and loved by a little child.
Hope shines in the presence of littles. Hug the little ones in your life today.
©2019 RJ Thesman – All Rights Reserved
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