Soon, we enter the 11th month of the pandemic. What we once thought would be a 4-week inconvenience has evolved into our normal life. TV screens full of political turmoil, mask mandates, COVID vaccinations, and riots were once seen as problems in other countries, but now they are happening in our backyard. How do we process all this? How do we find hope for peace? How do we deal with these dark clouds hanging over us that just won’t seem to go away? The answer is right in front of us if we just look around.
Last week, I received an email from Lisa Gramm, who is a catechist in the Faith Formation Program at St. Mary on the Lake. I found her email very comforting by showing me where to look for hope in our world today. Lisa wrote…
“With God’s grace and love we look expectantly into this new year with continued hope and anticipation. 2020 has challenged us in many ways, in our families, work places, schools and churches. But we have adapted and realized that maybe some additional time at home to just “BE” with our family is exactly what we needed!
I myself have been reminded again and again of the Scripture verse Luke 18:16-17: ‘Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.’
My kids have been such a source of inspiration to me – going to school with masks on all day, not complaining about it and just adapting to the new reality. They have had sports taken away and clubs and sleep overs taken away – all with little to no complaining. Truly inspiring. I would be willing to bet your kids have all taught you several things during this pandemic. What a gift that is!”
This Scripture verse Lisa quoted is my favorite to use at baptisms. I tell the adults who are present that Jesus may be talking about the children here, but He is really talking to us. Every child places total trust in their parents and adults around them for food, shelter, clothing, safety, and general well-being. And that’s how God wants us to be—like little children. God’s children, who place their trust in Him that everything will be OK. It’s that simple. But, in order to receive the grace of peace that comes with that trust, we must be like a child. Because just like a child, we don’t know what the future will bring. But, we do know that no matter how old we are or what is happening around us, God has a plan for us, and His plan is good.
All it takes is seeing the joy in the children around us, and having a heart like them to believe.