From time to time, I have the privilege to walk my granddaughter to a street corner where she is picked up by the school bus. It is not a long walk, a hop, skip and a jump from the house, but the walk is filled with her delighted chatter and little chirps of laughter as she points out various things along the way, especially the different kinds of dogs out in the early morning taking their owners for a walk.
This a.m., as we are walk along, I look down at her and notice that she is wearing the necklace her mother just brought her this past weekend. I understand the delight in being able to go to school wearing something new, the lure of being able to show it off to your classmates as they marvel at it, awestruck by your blessing (something we adults still do). But, I also note the slender chain and I say, as casually as I can (grandchildren have been known to be temperamental), “Maybe, after today, you should leave your necklace at home. I would hate for you to be playing on the school yard and someone accidentally break it.”
My granddaughter looks up at me and says, “Okay.”
In spite of her acquiescence, I continue to mull over the possibility that she will return home this afternoon in tears with a broken necklace in hand. I try to tread lightly as I say, “Maybe, you should not wear it today. Wouldn’t want it to get accidentally broken on the school yard (hopefully, repetition underscores my point).”
My granddaughter looks up at me again, but this time her look is wrapped in stubbornness as she shakes her head, “No.”
I continue to insist, eventually bearding the lion in its den to remove the necklace from around her neck. She assumes the stance I have seen before, her “I am not happy pose,” but just for a quick minute before she looks at the navy blue peacoat I have on and asks, “Is that my coat?”
I laugh and say, “How would I wear your jacket? I would only be able to fit one arm in it.”
My granddaughter laughs as she imagines Ganny wearing her navy blue dress coat on one arm. The removal of her necklace apparently no longer an issue, we resume conversations about passing dogs and late school buses.
On my return walk back home, I think about how quickly my granddaughter got over her pique about the necklace. I then think about how spiteful we adults can become when things do not go our way. How we continue to chew on a slight until the “offense” blocks the view of any grace that might be headed our way. But we have, in those moments, the option to choose either tears or laughter, joy or bitterness, delight or dismay.
We Christians often declare of God’s goodness to others. My question is this: Does His goodness only apply when things are going well, or is His goodness applicable for every moment of every day, even when someone comes along and removes our new necklace?
I’m just thinking out loud………