I find the emphasis Jesus places on kids to be fascinating. For instance, the Christ encouraged us to have the faith of a child and, after His followers tried to shoo the children away, told them to let the kiddos come to Him. In reflecting on this, Richard Beck wrote: “I think children teach us the basics of being a human being. Children want you to bear witness, to behold, to see them.” Bear witness … Behold … See. This gets down to the core of what it means to be human. We all crave connection. We all yearn to be truly seen, approved, and celebrated.
Especially as a dad, uncle, and step-grandad I’ve noticed kiddos quite frequently ask you to “look at me”, “watch this”, and “come here and see me _____”. In these frequent moments they’re asking and wanting you to see, value, and celebrate her or him. And, isn’t that what we all want and ask for all the time? Whether we flat out ask for a hug or we fall prey to an addiction, I think deep down it’s often a request to be seen and valued.
This brings me to perhaps the two greatest and most important gifts we can give people. Presence and attention. Being here and now, WITH who you’re with, while having eyes that see, ears that hear, and hands that care for her or him. These, my friends, are tangible expressions of love and some of the most AMAZING things we can do in life. So, today I invite you to practice being a little less distracted by cares, worries, and smart phones, so you can be MORE present and attentive, which enables us to see, value, and celebrate people.
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Grace and peace,