By: Sandy Churchill
Amid political conventions and daily scandals circling the upcoming presidential election, it seems tough to find good news and maintain optimism. “He said/she said” accusations, press bias, cynicism, and lack of character fill the airwaves and conversations seem dotted with dejected spirits and disbelief on the state of our country and its future leadership. It is in this climate that I recently heard wisdom from a five-year-old child.
The scene was a week-long Vacation Bible School—where music, faith, crafts, games, and inspiration filled five mornings with fun, friendship, and daily lessons on character, prayer, and God’s love. My daughter and I volunteered to run the pre-school area of the Bible camp while my 11 year-old son attended camp with the elementary school students.
The weather was 90 degrees + every single day and most of the church space is not air-conditioned. Cool breaks outside in the shade and popsicle time took the edge off the heat, but our quest was non-stop caring, teaching, and guiding the little ones each morning. While early-to-bed, early-to-rise should have been the daily prescription for energy this week, I confess I stayed up too late following the conventions and letting my blood pressure rise in the face of gloomy political scandals and lies, lies, lies. My faith in human nature—like many in our country—is uncharacteristically shaken and my usual optimistic spirit is sadly negative and brooding.
So it is in this climate that a sweet, bright-eyed kindergartener cheered me with his morning announcement that “Jesus gives us hope!” Though he was repeating the daily lesson from the prior Bible camp day, his words stirred in me a quiver of –dare I say it—hope. For me, this faith in God is a key reminder that human frailties are not front and center. I need not worry constantly about ISIS, crime, a crippled economy, tight finances, dishonest government, duplicitous leadership, and so on and so on. I have faith. I can pray.
Children have a way of simplifying things and trusting in the bigger picture. Sometimes, we adults over-complicate things. I can still have hope. I have faith. I can commit my time, energy, love, attention, and spirit to family, friends, working hard, volunteering, and making a daily difference one kind word, one kind act at a time.
So thank you five-year-old Benjamin. You restored my faith in the future. Jesus, indeed, gives us hope.