Through a child’s eyes

Published 6:29 pm Friday, September 22, 2023

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Over the weekend, our family participated in an outreach effort to invite community members to our church’s homecoming service. We were happy to help, doing “the Lord’s work” but no one was happier with the effort than my two-year-old granddaughter, Caroline.

The four of us strolled around the neighborhoods surrounding the church and extended a “ya’ll come” welcome where we found residents at home. At other homes, we left a small packet of information which explained the service time and described the meal which would follow.

All the while, we tried not to scare folks who wondered what we were up to and made a few friends along the way. And sweet Caroline, sucker in one hand and stuffed “goggy” in the other, took in the wonder of it all.

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Halfway through our journey, Caroline insisted on being freed from her stroller. She walked seriously by her daddy’s side, hands clasped behind her back, and eagerly approached each home.

It’s eye opening to view the world through the eyes of a child, who gleefully approaches the world with wonder and joy. The adults in our group felt self-conscious about what we would say to each homeowner, but not Caroline. She simply smiled and said, “Hi” in her two-year-old voice and we asked ourselves, “Who wouldn’t accept that sort of invitation?”

What if we all approached life that way? What if each person greeted their neighbor with heart-felt enthusiasm, extended a smile, and welcomed the opportunity to know them better.

I suppose if we viewed the world from a child’s perspective and treated those we encounter with warmth and kindness, our churches and community organizations would be packed to overflowing.

The experience was certainly a lesson for me. Adults often seek to teach children the ways of the world, but I feel I have much to learn from Caroline’s perspective on life.