I was walking down the street of an upper-class area on the hill, lots of manicured yards, expensive cars, recessed houses with a moat of grass. Today, as most days, there was hardly anyone outside, surely they must be tucked away inside their beautiful homes; like nervous hermit crabs.
But today there was a little girl out in front of her home. I was approaching her driveway and instead of running off like a skittish deer, she approached me with a big smile and an arm full of barbies. I glanced around to see if her parents were present or about to come out, but she was alone. I kept walking, but slowed.
"Going for a walk?" she said with almost a giggle, her big eyes sparkling with memories of previous jaunts around the neighborhood, I'm sure.
"Yah, I am" I replied with a smile.
"You want to come to my house?" She innocently said, like I was 5 or something.
"No, I'm just going to walk...bye bye..." I replied, slightly remorseful.
I was bummed, because the first thoughts I had, were how all this interaction would appear to a concerned adult...even though it was brief and I had been walking past. I really did want to stop, talk and and see whatever she felt was worth showing to a complete stranger.
But this is a darker world than the light in her eyes and smile would allow...
I kept walking, thinking about how in all my walks, there's never been a strangers invitation to share a piece of their world. No request to show off a yard, a garden, a toy...nothing. No interest in sharing all the 'stuff' they have accumulated and nobody seems to interested in sharing themselves.
The loss of innocence is a tragic part of growing old...I think Jesus mourned the same loss, when He said that kingdom entering people will be those who return to such innocence.
I long for the day when saying "Yes" to a child's request to play, will no longer even be a question...
Come, Lord, Jesus.