Hello 2016! I just wanted to go ahead and practice writing it down once here because it will take me a while to adjust to it. We have welcomed in a new year, but not without saying goodbye to the old. We were inundated with lists and articles and TV specials counting down the best and worst of 2015. Sometimes those recaps can be fun. Some things we would rather forget.
One evening, our family decided to fire up the DVR and check out one of these year-in-review shows. The host broke down the biggest stories of the year by categories – entertainment, politics, everyday heroes, and etc. We were all enjoying the run down until it reached the straight “news” category. The facts were violent. The worst of the worst that human beings did to each other in the previous 12 months. ISIS, mass shootings, police violence, the Paris attacks, ad nauseam. To be honest, the shift in programming didn’t much register with me. It was simply more of what made up the year gone by. But my 10 year old daughter was not longer interested, nor entertained. She asked me to turn off the program. I was surprised at first, and asked her if it was too scary. She nodded her head “yes” and then crawled up in my lap and began to cry. As I started to pull out of her the reason for her tears, I realized that she wasn’t really afraid, but profoundly sad.
My sweet girl sobbed with the tears of a broken heart. She could not, in her innocence, comprehend the evil that pervades our sinful world. She didn’t understand how people could do the types of things we had just watched. She struggled to form words through her weeping to tell me that she wished she could tell them all about Jesus. Oh, the wisdom in her naivety. Later that night, when my husband and I processed this exchange, we realized that – although we had learned of each of these news events one at a time as they happened – Allie heard about them all at once in the course of 2 minutes. It obviously was a bit overwhelming. And yet, I think there is something to be learned from her response. You see, what were “news stories” to me were living, breathing people lost in their sins to Allie. The “crimes” reported were, more importantly to her, pain and devastation brought upon fellow human beings.
In Matthew chapter 18, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” (v.3 NIV) Oh, that God would chip away at my callous, jaded heart and let me see the world through the eyes of a child. That He would break my heart once again for the things that break His. In 2016, I want to be more like my daughter. May we all have a more loving and compassionate New Year.