On Sunday, Scott licks mayonnaise off his knife. I frown and scold. He says, ‘Mom, I not licking my knife. I just cleaning it with my tongue.’
I laugh and clear plates and melt a little more. Dive a little deeper into his ocean eyes.
On Tuesday we’re driving home from school and Cam jabbers happy through stop-start traffic. He says what a bonus it is that he was born with cataracts – that he has already had his cataracts – because Dad says that everyone – if you live long enough – gets cataracts eventually – but if you’ve already had your cataracts then you can’t get cataracts again and how lucky is he?
The usual joy stabs me breathless because I ache and marvel at this glass-half-full kid of mine.
On Thursday I’m a cake sale mom. We’ve slashed our prices. The bell’s about to ring and there is vast stickiness still to sell. A tiny thing peers up from enormous puffy jacket depths. She says she’d like a cupcake. Sure, I tell her. Just one rand! She holds up five cents. ‘I have five rand,’ she tells me proud. ‘Um. No, darling, you see – ’ She stares blank and earnest still holding out copper. I hand her a cupcake and there’s a reason I’m no CEO but there’s something about innocence and the faith of a child.
And maybe they’ve all got a point.
Maybe, perspective is everything.
Maybe I should climb down from the jaded heights of all-grownup. Bend low. Make myself little. See things new and big and different.
Maybe I can re-frame naïve and call it magic. Re-frame parameters and see the possibilities. Re-frame problems and perceptions and dig for promise and potential. Re-frame a licked knife and call it domestic awareness. Re-frame tragedy and find gratitude: relief that some of life’s pain is over and done – under the belt – ticked off for glory.
Because Jesus never said we could have our cake and eat it. Not exactly. He said, ‘Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.’ (John 16:33) And he said ‘I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.’ (John 10:10)
So maybe living the Jesus life – the deep-peace great-joy life – means knowing that some dreams only grow in the shade. (Tweet that.)
And sure, Earth-side there’s suffering to come. (Cataracts, for most of us.) But Sonny was right about The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel and he was right about life: ‘Everything will be all right in the end. If it’s not all right then it’s not yet the end.’
And for us?
The end is re-framed into just the beginning.
. . .
C.S. Lewis said, ‘There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.’ Agree? I’d love to hear from you.