Serving as an over-70-year-old companion to a toddler has transfigured my brain. And it has shown me what Jesus meant in Matthew 18:3: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Perhaps the most important transfiguration is my re-appreciation of the exciting world in which we live. When we go for walks, things flame out of the landscape for him: sparrows eating the crumbs of his dropped cookie, squirrels climbing the boulevard shade trees, and especially big yellow school buses.
I’ve found new joy in sharing these experiences with him and in celebrating his excitement. But the most meaningful result is that my awareness has grown. Even when he is not with me, I look up at a passing fire truck and think how impressive its long ladder is. I, too, see the world as fresh again and celebrate creation, grateful for the opportunity to exchange my old mind for a new one. My time to celebrate is shorter than his, and I am happy not to waste it.
This message is excerpted from “A change of mind” by Ryan LaHurd in the October 2018 Gather magazine.
Copyright © 2023 Women of the ELCA. Inquiries for permission to reproduce should be directed to [email protected].