Father is sitting next to son—a child of perhaps 5 years. He pulls him up on his lap and wraps his arms around him.
“Child, today the world is a beautiful place to you. Today the sun, the grass, the animals, and the people make you happy…and are enough.”
The little boy looks up at his father and then back at the world around him.
“And this is okay,” father continues. “There is no need to be afraid or to worry about the future now…but one day things will change. It happens to all of us as we grow. It is not that these beauties around us change or that something is lost, but rather we realize that there has been more to life that we had not seen before…and one day, son, you will see these things too. They are not easy things or pretty things, but we must all face them and make our own choice. Will we accept these things and become like them, or will we push them away and focus on the beauty…”
“Daddy, I don’t get it.” The little boy squirmed and shook his head.
Father smiles and squeezes a bit more. “It’s okay. It’s okay. I want to tell you this even though you might not understand now. One day you will, and you will remember these words that I’ve told you…You see, there will come a time when your eyes are able to see things you can’t see right now.
There will be feelings in you that weren’t there before, and that feel like they don’t belong. You will find yourself wanting to do things that you don’t like, and not doing things you wish you could. You will face terrible things…close friends will leave, others might hurt you, you will see men fighting against men and doing all they can do to get more and more for themselves. You will see this world as it really is, a world of fading beauty, and it will make you sad, my son.”
“…I, I don’t think I like this daddy. Why are you telling me? It makes me sad now…”
“I know, child. I know. But when you are alone one day, and it seems everyone is against you; when you cannot see the beautiful sun or grass, animals or people that make you happy and satisfy you now, I want you to remember this: that there is someone who is bigger than all of these things. Someone who will always be with you, even when everyone else goes away. Someone that isn’t changed by time and is always there to protect and look over you.”
Father smiled sadly. “I will be as long as I can, child…but God will be there even when I cannot be. He will always be with you. My son, you know that God has made this world and everything in it. But God made it good. It was us who made it bad…and even though you don’t see much bad now…you will later. But remember that God is the same. Remember that God is still in control, because this is His world, and not ours. And God can comfort you more when you are sad, than I can by hugging you now. I’m telling you because I love you, my son.”
“I love you dada too.”
Father smiled and looked up at the darkening sky.
“Well, it’s getting late. Time for bed.” Father picked up his son and carried him inside to his room.
“Can I have a story daddy? Before I sleep?” The little boy looked up with large innocent eyes at his father as he tucked him in under warm covers.
“That’s a great idea.”
“As long as it’s a happy story. I don’t like sad stories. Just the happier ones.”
Father smiled. “Of course, child. Those are the ones I like too.”