“Don’t pull all the toys out. Johnny, please keep the toys in the basket.” Three-year-old Johnny looked me straight in the eye with his baby blues. With a mischievous smile, he dropped one toy after another out of the basket. He knew exactly what he was doing. Little Lila smiled from ear to ear, tilting her head in a most affectionate way, all the while pinching her baby sister. Lila knew in her heart she was not being kind.
On a recent flight, I sat next to a very interesting 45-year-old man from California. We chit-chatted for the first few minutes and eventually asked about each other’s family. His eyes widened as I mentioned I have six adult children and ten grandchildren. He responded with ... “My wife and I just don’t know that we want children.” I replied, “All I can say, is having children has been the best decision we ever made. And ... I won’t even get started on the grandchildren.” He smiled politely and then switched the subject to his passion for sports. Reflecting, I wish I would have expressed my deeper thoughts: “Children are a gift from God. Having children expands our souls and our capacity for love. Having children demands sacrifice, but brings great joy. Having children cracks open our hearts. And yes, as with all love, having children leaves us vulnerable to having our hearts broken—but love is always worth it." (And for men and women who long for children and never receive this gift, we know God provides other opportunities for their hearts to deepen in love.)
The blog on this page presents reflections on the Sunday readings through the lens of a parent/grandparent, aiding leaders of the domestic church in their vital task as “first heralds” or “first preachers” of the Good News in the home.