When three boys are playing quietly without iPads, I know I SHOULD worry.
But yesterday was a rough Monday, so when they were all getting along playing quietly outside… I breathed a sigh of relief and did some work. Then at one point, I heard a faint whimper from the yard. “Ugh, they are probably fighting again… maybe they’ll work it out…” But as the whimper grew louder, I got up to investigate. The weirdest thing about the whimper? The sound of it was mixed with joy-filled laughing from two other voices.
At first, I didn’t see them in the yard, but I followed the sound to the side of the playset where I saw first a bunch of toys shoved up the base of the twisty slide. There was a strange mix of pieces of a small basketball hoop, boxes of bob books, and other random non-backyard toys obscuring the opening.
And just above it? Three little boys.
One crying and moaning “I’m stuck!” The other two laughing “Yea, we are stuck!”
I guess it is all about perspective.
Maybe the same can be said about my rough day yesterday. I looked at each thing that happened through the eyes of the crying child. Nothing was going right, everything was harder than it should have been. And it felt much like a big mess of toys was blocking my movement forward. How would it have looked different if I had the eyes of the laughing children and threw up my hands and said “oh well, I’m stuck! Now what?”
How would that have changed my day?
My prayer for you and me today is to be open to receive the grace that comes from obstacles in our way. And for laughter, may we find it today even when we feel hopelessly stuck up a twisty slide.
“Hope means to continue living in desperation and humming in the darkness.” – Henri Nouwen