My sister-in-law took her kids to a nursing home on Hilton Head Island for
trick-or-treating a couple years back. As they scurried around holding out their
bags for a treat, one senior man locked eyes with her five-month-old. He
immediately reached out his arms asking to hold her baby. She obliged
The picture captures the moment and speaks a thousand words
summed up in four letters: LOVE.
This intent gaze between the young and old lasted several minutes. Not once
did either child or adult look away. Their spirits were drawn to one another like
old friends. I believe the Jesus in my nephew was seeing the Jesus in the
older gentleman and vice versa.
What gets me all sniffly is the placement of my nephew’s tiny hands. One
curls around the fragile fingers of this stranger, the other rests gently on his
arm. Total contentment. Profound familiarity.
But when my sister-in-law picked up her son, he wailed! A full expression of
disapproval over having to separate from someone who brought comfort and
I’m convinced the elderly man was not a stranger to my nephew. Instead, he
was a mirror reflecting the love of Jesus, and Jesus is someone my nephew
knows very well deep in the recesses of his DNA.
Babies come into the world as a blank canvas awaiting the brushstrokes of
life. The only thing they know is God, which is Love. For the elderly, the
journey of life has sprayed the canvas with a colorful array of knowledge and
Wisdom allows the most seasoned of us to see the artwork as a
whole, in its simplest form: all of life centers around Love, which is God.
What a gift when these two canvases meet. The display of love tingles hope
through my pores, leaving me longing for similar experiences as I go about my days.
Love is all around us in everyone we meet. Sometimes we just need to
look a little longer and open our hearts to see.
Kids do this with ease. Seems the elderly do as well. May we all become like
children again during the in-between.