Most starving college students will do just about anything to make some extra cash. While my friends were working at restaurants and selling subway sandwiches, I found myself working at the family daycare center 8 hours/week. Working with 1-2 year olds, I was the lucky one that showed up right at nap time, and worked until the parents came to pick their children up after work. The shift was the easiest one on the schedule. I studied during nap time, and played with the children the rest of the afternoon.
The innocence of youth was a welcome reprieve to the stress and drama of my college life. The complexities of my schedule, studying, dating life, and partying were all swept away as I spent time with children who found joy in something as simple as playing ‘dress up’ in adult clothes, or building castles out of blocks.
One afternoon during playtime all the children were outside and I pulled out a little tube full of soap and water. You would have thought I was Jon Bon Jovi on stage as all the children started screaming, jumping up and down and waving their hands in the air.
There are few things in the world that kids love more than bubbles. I blew through the plastic ring and children just ran all around screaming chasing the little glistening balls of suds. The balls would burst and spray the kids in the face as laughter echoed all around.
Watching the innocent laughter that afternoon, I noticed a little boy standing in the middle of all the screaming children. He was not running around mad or popping bubbles. He was watching everyone around him. He was smiling and looking up at the bubbles. He then did something that is etched permanently in my memory. Reaching both hands up to heaven, he dropped his head back, and Danny the two-year-old let out a yell.
“I LOVE THIS!!! ………………I LOVE THIS!!!”
There are those moments in life when time stands still. When the second-hand of your watch stops ticking, and you realize how blessed you really are. Danny was in this moment, and he brought me there too.
I often think about Danny. He is thirteen or fourteen years old now. I wonder if he sees beauty in the world that no one else sees because they are too busy running around chasing shiny floating things that eventually break. I would love to thank him, for bringing me perspective even to this day and making me stop to realize how amazing life is. If only more of us would stop long enough to look around, hold our hands to heaven, and tell God that “WE LOVE THIS!”
Matthew 19:14 (New International Version)
Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”