A few years ago, I received a call from a friend whose young daughter was being taken to Children’s Medical Center in an emergency situation. Another child in the family needed to be picked up from school, so I offered to pick him up and keep him until they got some things settled. Little did I know that my time with this six year old would result in a valuable lesson for me.
After a quick stop at McDonalds, we went to a large store where I often shop. As I pushed the basket, Justin stood at the end of the basket holding on with both hands while I navigated through the store. I had a list of things to get and was focused on making sure I picked up all that I needed. I begin to hear these words repeated several times: “Ms. Beverly! Ms. Beverly! Look! Look!” I thought to myself “I am looking. What am I supposed to be seeing?” He could tell by the confused look on my face that I wasn’t looking where he wanted me to look. Finally he said “Look up!” High up on the store shelves were tons of Christmas decorations and lights. It was extremely festive! As many times as I had been shopping at that same store, I had to admit, I had not noticed the “high up” Christmas decorations. I didn’t ever look up. Justin saw something much different than I did, yet we were in the same place at the same time. The Christmas decorations of snowmen, Santa Claus and reindeer brought a joy to his heart which in turn brought a joy to my heart. I’m always amazed at the joy children find in the smallest things.
The valuable lesson I learned that day was, of course, to “look up.” If Justin had not been there, I would have once again shopped and not seen the joy. Needless to say, I now always “look up” when I’m shopping in that store or any other store. I don’t want to miss anything!
Through the eyes of a child we can gain a new perspective. We can learn to look through their eyes to see what they see. When we begin to see what they see, we can begin to be empathetic to their feelings. Then we can help offer the hope and help they need. ChristianWorks for Children is an organization that does just that. We look through the eyes of children, see their pain, see their needs and offer programs that can help make a difference in their lives.
This holiday season remember to “look up” so you too can see the joy!