But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.”
I was hot. Tired. Fuming and impatient. I tapped my foot. If only the lady in front of me, talking with the hotel desk clerk, would hurry. I needed to get moving. I burned with the frustration of the last thirty minutes, driving lost, circling around the same highway, over and over. I needed directions. Now. I looked at the back of her hair and fixed my stare.
My eyes grew restless just in time to catch a small movement. Just over her right shoulder, the yellow crown of a child started to rise. Bit by bit, the forehead appeared with bangs, eyebrows, nose, and two wide brown eyes–looking straight at me.
Slowly, a twinkle in the child’s eyes flashed with a smile, and she ducked down behind her mother’s shoulder. Almost instantly, though, the yellow hair tilted sideways and began to rise again, like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, tilted forehead, eyes, and smile. I smiled back. And winked. She ducked and came up again, hands over her face. With our eyes and smiles, we played and played.
Growing confident in one another, our game slowed until, in quiet agreement, we stopped and stared, wide-eyed, curious, and trusting, two humans opening our ageless hearts in friendship. We just agreed to look at each other and pay attention.
Time no longer mattered. I would get where I needed to go, but I would be richer for the time spent looking into the eyes of a child and meeting God.
Those who love deeply never grow old; they may die of old age, but they die young.
–Sir Arthur Wing Pinero