The Shimmering Spirit of a Child

My four-year-old grandson’s name, as he likes to remind me every now and again, is “Joshua Matthew Cockrum, Jr.”

But I just call him “Joshy.” 

He loves fully and unconditionally. I may see a tired soul in the mirror, but he sees, “Poppy.” When I visit him after a long day at work, the baggage I carry with me goes unnoticed. 

“Come see my room!” Joshy exclaims. “I gotta new toy!”

He knows not the sins of my youth (the dark, ugly ones, of which only God and my wife have knowledge). His precious spirit is devoid of acquaintance with my emotional struggles. He remains blissfully unaware of my sleeplessness or crippling back pain.

Joshy’s unconditional love is a veiled reflection of God. His shimmering spirit is a living, breathing, energetic reminder of the beauty to be found in life.

He makes an exhausted and disillusioned man grin like he’s guilty. He flips my frown upside down, and that’s an amazing thing. 

The old song says, “The nearest thing to Heaven is a child.” Ain’t it the truth. 

Most of us have a Joshy in our life to whom we are close. Books and blogs have rightfully been written about loving them, and treating them with dignity and respect. 

“Train them right,” we cry. “Teach them about right and wrong. About love and laughter.”

So true, but just as important is what THEY can teach US. They teach us that it doesn’t take money or gifts to garner a smile. They teach us about the amazing, healing power of laughter. They teach us forgiveness should come easy and remain permanent. They teach us that hearts can be mended and tears wiped away with a hug and a Kit Kat bar.

Thanks, Lord, for sending Joshy. May I learn to play and laugh and love and forgive so easily. 

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