The Simple Joy of Innocence

Recently I walked outside with my grandson, Jack. He was a bit fussy, most likely teething. I walked outside on a warm, fall afternoon chatting with him. We stepped onto my driveway with an old white oak tree overarching us. As I held Jack, he stared up at the tree. The gentle wind caused the leaves on the branches to dance rhythmically above. As I observed Jack, I noticed the reflection of the leaves in his eyes, and a big smile suddenly breaking out on his tender face. His look of delight warmed my heart, the simple joy of nature reflected in my grandson’s eyes.

How I long for this simple joy of innocence in my own life, a heart of gratitude for the everyday things of life. I get bogged down with worries and frustrations over work, bills, debts, and unfulfilled dreams. How I long to return to the face of wonder I saw in Jack’s eyes under the gentle Oak tree.

We can all learn wonderful lessons studying the little ones. For myself, Jack is teaching me to have a heart of gratitude and wonder. I stepped outside last night and stared into the night sky, observing the stars and the moon. It brought me back to the many times as a child I stared at the stars, their reflection in my eyes of wonder and delight. I remember at an early age my awe of the reality of a God who created all of this, and who created me. How I wanted to know this God of wonder.

Jack’s eyes remind me to see the wonder in everyday life, and to smile with gratitude, even amid brokenness, frustration and confusion. Filtering out all this pain and heartache lies the truth of a God who is always there, and always cares.

Thanks for the reminder, Jack. Papaw loves you.

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