And calling to Him a child, He put him in the midst of them, and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 18:2-3
Efficient Christmas Present Wrapping 1, Childhood Innocence 0
It seemed like a good idea at the time. But it was not a good idea. See if you get this. It was last Sunday afternoon. I was the last to leave church after the prayers of preparation, Morning Prayer, Divine Liturgy, coffee hour, Nativity play rehearsals and then our teen meeting. I then drove out (way out) to Goodyear, AZ to pray for a parishioner preparing for heart by-pass surgery. I made it home by 3 for a power bar and oatmeal lunch before helping my sister-in-law get her Christmas tree. I got home much later than I ever do. (Not to worry, the Cowboy game wasn’t televised.) My wife and daughter depart in peace for the grocery store and my oldest son was making skate history at the skatepark with his friend. So, Second-Grade-Sam and I are home alone. “Sam, want to wrap some Christmas presents?” “Woo hoo!” We wrap a couple of presents. That’s when I accidently took a little of my son’s innocence. I pulled out the espresso maker my mother-in-law bought for me so we could wrap it. Sam asks me, “Who is the coffee machine for?” “That’s for me.” I might as well have been speaking Finnish. His quick mind went to work trying to figure out what kind of world this is where a man is fully aware of the present he is receiving and is even wrapping it to put under the dead pine tree that is in the living room.
There was no explaining to Sam that the present party is pretty much done for the Over 40 crowd. I sheepishly said something about how at my age I was likely to forget what I had wrapped.
If you are 7 years old presents are surprises. Period. But the world looks different through my eyes. And, now sadly, it looks a little different through his, too. I do not think Jesus, in the verse above from Matthew, is promoting naiveté. But rather that we are to be humble, simple and without guile. Thanks be to God that Sam is still mostly all those things.