And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. Revelation 21:4-5 (NIV)
Because our kids are grown and we are no longer in the midst of parenting and because we don’t have grandkids yet (let’s get them married first! She says with fingers crossed), husband and I have started noticing the children around us a lot more. At Epcot, we kept nudging each other when a child was doing something particularly cute. Well, I should correct myself. Not really little boys. We’ve been there and done that. Let’s be honest, little boys aren’t particularly cute. Loud. Active. Daring. Adventuresome. Yes, but not particularly cute. Little girls, though. Now, there’s something to get misty eyed and smile about. I told husband I hope we have a granddaughter someday. He said he hoped not because I would spend all my money on princess costumes and tea parties. He’s right. Everywhere we looked at Epcot over the weekend there was some little darling all prissy and bright eyed in her princess dress or fairy costume. Miniature Belles, Cinderellas, Sleeping Beauties and Tinkerbelles wandered the sidewalks of Epcot complete with accessories: wands, wings, headbands and crowns. They were all heading to the restaurant at Norway which has been converted to a character restaurant. For a price, you dine with the princesses and they will read a story to you. Rumor has it Prince Charming arrives before the meal is over. Even though we were in a magical place, not every little girl was having a magical day. We witnessed the occasional meltdown as tempers flared when the wait for a table got too long or the heat caused their ruffled nylon ball gown to chafe. One little princess flitted about in front of the Living Seas chasing a butterfly. Arms outstretched, she tried to capture the fluttering beauty. She was so focused on her prey that she ran straight into a cactus garden and her palms filled with its sharp needles. I watched helplessly as her mom and dad consoled her and tried to pull the thorns from her hands. It did not seem right that bad things would happen in such a magical place. Lately, at work, I feel like that little princess. My job has been pretty special for many years, and I have been allowed to do some important and fun work. But things are changing. Last week layoffs started. So far, about fifty people have lost their jobs. Who would have thought we would get to such a time when bureaucrats and teachers would be out of work? My department has lost only one employee so far, but my stomach knots when I think what might come. Yet, unlike the little princess at Epcot, I try to keep my focus not on the butterfly, but on the One who made it. Life can be hard. These are not easy times. I might yet end up in a painful place. But, I chose to put my faith in God. No matter what comes, He will hold me close and wipe away my tears.