Well, this week presented plenty more sunshiny opportunities to get some practice in with my new camera. One of my favorite ways to fit the time in is to take a leisurely walk down our long driveway with my children.
One day this week, my husband had taken the older children to the creek for some swimming, so it was just me and our little guy out for our walk. It was on this walk that I was reminded of one of the most precious lessons I have ever learned: the simplicity of a child’s joy.
My son and I headed down the driveway, stopping here and there to admire some flower or rock or bug. I was looking for something fun to photograph, and he was just enjoying the sheer pleasure of interacting with creation.
We had just about come down off the initial hill from our house when I spotted a log laying on its side in the warm afternoon sun, dripping with translucent, golden strands of sap. Of course, I had to get a few shots of this fleeting gem.
Meanwhile, my boy had found his own little treasure. He squatted at the edge of the driveway, and I watched to see just what he was after. With a sweet, pleased look on his little face, he carefully picked up two dry dirt clods—one for each hand. I smiled, and continued on down the driveway a bit.
Just a moment later, it became clear that one of the clods was a gift—for me. He reached up his little hand to hand me the smaller of the two clods, but it rolled off and fell to the ground. No problem, though. The precious treasure was unharmed and he picked it up.
Seeing how carefully he held his own little treasure, I made sure to tell him “Thank you” as he handed it to me once again.
I carefully held my gift as we continued to enjoy our stroll, zigzagging here and there, checking out some more of nature’s evidence of our Father’s goodness. I snapped a few more photos, then knelt to try to capture some pretty flowers at a lower level. My little buddy ran up to me and grabbed my right hand. It was empty, except for the camera it was currently balancing. A look of disappoint momentarily came over my little guy’s face, and I quickly asked him, “Is this what you’re looking for?” holding open my other hand with the dusty little gift of love in it. He smiled a huge, bright grin and happily went on his way.
It was that smile that I wish I could freeze in time and carry with me forever. This is the simplicity of a child’s joy. A child just needs to know that he is truly cared for, truly loved. This reminds me of a quote from one of my favorite books of all time, The Desire of Ages by Ellen G. White. Speaking of Jesus, it says: “He did not refuse the simplest flower plucked by the hand of a child, and offered to Him in love.” (page 564)
May we not be too busy to accept the simplest flower—or dirt clod—offered to us in love by the hand of a child. 🙂