Have you ever sat at a playground and watched children play? For many of us this is how we fill our days in some seasons of our lives.
The kids climb, slide, and run as happy as can be. Nothing is wrong in their world. As each new child arrives they are welcomed into whatever game is being had. No questions, just a natural easy flow. I marvel at how quick children can make friends as well. They have a common purpose, to PLAY! Nothing will hinder their goal. I have also noticed that most of the time my own kids will not even find out the names of the other kids they played with. They just knew it was ok to play and have fun together.
As adults we grow leary of people and lose this simple mindset. I am challenged daily to remember how children engage in the world and are open to others coming into their life. Some will come in for a long time and others just a 30 minute play date at a playground. As we navigate our daily lives may we be challenged to embrace all the different people that come into our life.
My 8 year old daughter made a friend at her new school this year. I scheduled a skate date so they could play together. When we got home I asked if she enjoyed playing with Ciara (name changed to keep privacy). Her response was quick and thoughtful all at the same time. She said, “yes I did, but if we lived during Martin Luther King’s day we would not of been able to play together Mom.” She was referring to the fact that Ciara is African-American and she is white. I’m sure her teacher at school was teaching about Martin Luther King Jr. recently. However, hearing her make the point she made was a profound statement about how she felt. I hope I never forget her words. She loves her friends and realized that because she lives today she can be friends with all people. The way they look on the outside doesn’t have to determine if she is allowed to play with them or not. She added, “I’m glad I live now.”
We seem to take for granted what we do have these days. We can choose who we spend time with. We can see people for far beyond the outside appearance. I choose to be a welcomer and bridge for people to experience unity.
Martin Luther King Jr said, “that one day right down in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.” It was his dream that has come true today. I hope that we as a people will remember his words and diligently stick together as one human race.
Next time you find yourself in the vicinity of children take a moment to watch how they play. We can all take a breath and realize that just as hard as life can be the joy that exudes from children at play is unmistakable. Finding the good in every person you meet is a positive way to live. Remembering that we all have our struggles and need to given grace. If we can see past the outer appearance and peer into the heart and soul of a person I guarantee you will see pieces of yourself. We all need each other.